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MustardSeed

Why do we congratulate people who are given callings?

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

How about:  Congratulations.

Ok.  

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Probably because, on the average, GA's follow a succession of callings and when we see someone following that same path, we're excited - in the hopes we might one day say: I knew him/her back when...

* I understand there are some GA's that don't follow the typical succession but the exception does not disprove the rule or the average experience or all the other evidence to the contrary.

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Just now, nuclearfuels said:

Probably because, on the average, GA's follow a succession of callings and when we see someone following that same path, we're excited - in the hopes we might one day say: I knew him/her back when...

* I understand there are some GA's that don't follow the typical succession but the exception does not disprove the rule or the average experience or all the other evidence to the contrary.

You are more optimistic about your ward and stake members then I am. :vader: 

I also don’t get the name dropping thing. So you knew a Seventy as a teenager? Really a big deal?

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2 minutes ago, nuclearfuels said:

Probably because, on the average, GA's follow a succession of callings and when we see someone following that same path, we're excited - in the hopes we might one day say: I knew him/her back when...

* I understand there are some GA's that don't follow the typical succession but the exception does not disprove the rule or the average experience or all the other evidence to the contrary.

I get that most are unwilling to validate my opinion that our culture is one that finds reward in higher callings and that the idea that “every calling is of equal importance ‘including nursery callings’ is largely lip service, and that our unconscious tendency to congratulate leadership callings perpetuates this attitude.  

But if we admire GA callings , I’m pretty sure we do the same on a local level. 

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5 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I get that most are unwilling to validate my opinion that our culture is one that finds reward in higher callings and that the idea that “every calling is of equal importance ‘including nursery callings’ is largely lip service, and that our unconscious tendency to congratulate leadership callings perpetuates this attitude.  

But if we admire GA callings , I’m pretty sure we do the same on a local level. 

There is a subset of our culture that does this but most of those in that subset do not have those callings. The Venn diagram of people who view the church this way and those who see a life of ease and comfort in those callings is also probably close to a circle. I remember on my mission when we got a new Mission President. He released a lot of the Zone and District leaders in his first month. Most thought nothing of it but a few murmured about being released for no good reason. These murmurings got back to him and he gave a sermon about the way the church works and now releases are not insults and callings are not proof of virtue.

I have known a lot of Bishops well and had them confide in me. While many miss the calling because of the opportunities it gave them to help I have also know some who were heading to a early grave because of it. My most recent previous bishop told the new bishop just before he was set apart that his last directive as bishop was to have himself called to teach the 7 and 8 year olds in Primary. He said it half-jokingly but you could tell he wanted it and the Spirit confirmed and he was given it. He is having as much if not greater spiritual growth in that calling. The Bishopric is not made up of the three most righteous men in the ward. They just have skills that can be used there. It is arguable that Gospel Doctrine and Youth Sunday School Teachers have more impact on building the kingdom then a bishop and a missionary then a Seventy or even an apostle. I remember President Eyring during a missionary broadcast lamenting near tears that he was not allowed to go out with us and that he wished he were. That always stuck with me.

My calling of Ward Clerk is probably one of the least overtly spiritual assignments you can get. Most of it is spent dealing with money and names and making sure information is accurate and there is little prominence to it. Most members only come to you when they move but I have had such opportunities to grow in it. I am inspired at least once a month about something the Bishop needs to know based on just regular reviews. It feels good just to serve even though most of it is unnoticed. Maybe even especially because it is unnoticed.

Those that cover the “high seats” (I take that to mean visible) rarely get them and rarely stay in them when they do. Those who happily take the “low seats” often end up in the high seats despite their intentions. The Savior knew what He was talking about when he gave that counsel about how to go to a feast.

Disclaimer: I do not mean to give the impression that I have killed my impulse for self-aggrandizement. I have not. I just do not express my vice through church callings. I find it a greater temptation in career advancement where it nicely links up with greed for those salary increases.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I also don’t get the name dropping thing. So you knew a Seventy as a teenager? Really a big deal?

Perhaps I've exaggerated things in my time away from Utah, but I absolutely remember cultural elements along these lines.  Listening to parents over the years, they want their kids to grow up to be successful, marry well, get rich, and some want their kids to be high up in the church. 

It's like the obsessive coach dad syndrome.  Got their kid's sports career planned out from day one, and anything that gets in the way gets yelled at, whether it's the coach, the referee, or the kid.  Except here, you hear stuff like "You'll never make Elders Quorum Pres with friends like that loser", or "This is not how a future GA is supposed to act", or "Yeah, that guy isn't worth your time - even if he goes on a mission he'll return early", or "she is not apostle's wife material son, you can do better".  

Not many are like that.  Not often.  But in my uncharitable and unrighteous opinion, they're all in Utah and good riddance. :)

Edited by LoudmouthMormon

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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

get that most are unwilling to validate my opinion that our culture is one that finds reward in higher callings and that the idea that “every calling is of equal importance ‘including nursery callings’ is largely lip service, and that our unconscious tendency to congratulate leadership callings perpetuates this attitude.  

 But if we admire GA callings , I’m pretty sure we do the same on a local level. 

I don’t doubt that some feel this way, maybe many, but to claim it is church culture...that might be projecting on too many one’s own impressions. Outside of Bishop and Stake President, I have a harder time seeing this as typical. Some do, some don’t. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Perhaps I've exaggerated things in my time away from Utah, but I absolutely remember cultural elements along these lines.  Listening to parents over the years, they want their kids to grow up to be successful, marry well, get rich, and some want their kids to be high up in the church. 

It's like the obsessive coach dad syndrome.  Got their kid's sports career planned out from day one, and anything that gets in the way gets yelled at, whether it's the coach, the referee, or the kid.  Except here, you hear stuff like "You'll never make Elders Quorum Pres with friends like that loser", or "This is not how a future GA is supposed to act", or "Yeah, that guy isn't worth your time - even if he goes on a mission he'll return early", or "she is not apostle's wife material son, you can do better".  

Not many are like that.  Not often.  But in my uncharitable and unrighteous opinion, they're all in Utah and good riddance. :)

I have never heard that kind of talk. Well, actually one of my missionary companions did tell me his father (a Seventy) said that his father would never make apostle because of that son’s screwups. I think he was joking. I have to admit that when I got home I was a little peeved that that guy with a GED could automatically go to BYU while I got rejected. I was accepted later but by then I did not want to go and deal with the Honor Code nanny-state. So it worked out.

Edited by The Nehor
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Posted (edited)

is it really so hard to acknowledge the element of truth in my observation?   We feel good when we are given an important calling.  We know that about each other  so we congratulate. 

We talk about not wanting the responsibility, but bla bla bla.  We quietly love being worthy of Gods appointment. 

 

Edited by MustardSeed

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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

I don’t doubt that some feel this way, maybe many, but to claim it is church culture...that might be projecting on too many one’s own impressions. Outside of Bishop and Stake President, I have a harder time seeing this as typical. Some do, some don’t. 

I’m sure I’m projecting.  I also am confident that I’m not making this up as much as I’m being told I am. 

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1 minute ago, MustardSeed said:

I’m sure I’m projecting.  I also am confident that I’m not making this up as much as I’m being told I am. 

That our experience differs from yours doesn’t mean we are ignoring reality. It just differs. Perhaps it is simply the different ward cultures we have been in. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

is it really so hard to acknowledge the element of truth in my observation?   We feel good when we are given an important calling.  We know that about each other  so we congratulate. 

We talk about not wanting the responsibility, but bla bla bla.  We quietly love being worthy of Gods appointment. 

 

Would you please stop projecting the experiences of a few onto the general membership?

Edit: Yes, there can be that quiet confirmation of being able to do the calling but it is not a smug quiet feeling of superiority; it is more a call to arms and a divine promise of support in the battle ahead and the whole thing humbles more then it exalts.

Edited by The Nehor
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Posted (edited)

Now I’m making a mountain about of a molehill.  

 

Separate meta topic:  why do I so often experience this: I comment on an observation that I’ve shared and had validated in other settings, but here the response suggests that I’m the only one who has these thoughts or opinions or experiences? 

I can see if I were an ex, and that the apologists might feel a need to defend the church by arguing everything that didn’t shine only favorable light.  Fact is we are not perfect and there is room to improve.  We have cultural quirks. 

I love the Gospel.  I have been a member my entire life and choose it every day.  I love God.  I value my place in the church.  My testimony is strong.  

I refuse to accept that I’m just a weirdo. ;)

Edited by MustardSeed
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7 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I refuse to accept that I’m just a weirdo. ;)

Oh - your weirdo club membership materials must be stuck in the mail.  But rest assured, your card, window decal, and t-shirt are on the way.  We meet for lunch on Tuesdays.

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14 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I refuse to accept that I’m just a weirdo. ;)

You are not just a weirdo but you are a believing member of the church so you are at least a weirdo.

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On 6/9/2019 at 3:18 PM, MustardSeed said:

It looks to my small mind as though culturally we subconsciously see callings as promotions or at least validations, thus the congrats.  

 

I have never congratulated anyone that received a calling. I have pitied several and expressed that to them in a joking manner. I don't have an understanding of why anyone would congratulate another for having received a calling to serve in the Church in any capacity. 

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29 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Oh - your weirdo club membership materials must be stuck in the mail.  But rest assured, your card, window decal, and t-shirt are on the way.  We meet for lunch on Tuesdays.

I’m in. 

 

18 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

You are not just a weirdo but you are a believing member of the church so you are at least a weirdo.

Ok I’ll take that.  :) 

 

im happy being the weirdo Mormon outside the church but among you other weirdos? No way. Ha! 

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14 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

I have never congratulated anyone that received a calling. I have pitied several and expressed that to them in a joking manner. I don't have an understanding of why anyone would congratulate another for having received a calling to serve in the Church in any capacity. 

Gasp- you’ve seen it too? ??? 

Apparently you have followed me in all my wards, as that’s the only place it occurs.  

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14 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

I have never congratulated anyone that received a calling. I have pitied several and expressed that to them in a joking manner. I don't have an understanding of why anyone would congratulate another for having received a calling to serve in the Church in any capacity. 

I can see it in the case of a mission call depending on where you go  because that is a decision made and there are specific qualifications to be met.

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I can see it in the case of a mission call depending on where you go  because that is a decision made and there are specific qualifications to be met.

I totally get the mission.  I felt bad for my son because he got called to Utah where he has lived half of his life, but it worked out as he got to go to the Olympics and he really enjoyed the flavor of the mission itself even if he didn't get to see new places.

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Posted (edited)

My experience as a ward librarian including here in Utah (in Kansas, Canada pulling pictures for teachers and others) is most members are very familiar with several apostles and so-so familiar with the rest.  Other General Authorities and Officers they may have minor name recognition, but faces not usually, unless they are women and then they more likely know the RS Officers and possibly other female leaders if they are leaders in those organizations.  The men may be more familiar with those over them, but they didn't ask for pictures or videos as much so harder to tell.

So there is in my view some celebrity factor surrounding the Apostles and Presidency, but Seventies and Officers I think it is much less.  Usually when we get a GA visiting, I ask which one and it's "can't remember".  And attendance is pretty much the same at the meetings whether on not a Seventy attends.

I think there was more status push back when the Church was smaller and there was more personal contact and many leaders served for long times.  My grandmothers were very aware of status in the Church.  One even confronted my dad's bishop about not making use of his talents; he got called to EQP...but I suspect he was happier that other than that, once they were in more Mormon dense areas he was called as Scoutmaster once and then off and on .Gospel Doctrine teacher even if Grandma was disappointed.

I have heard a few men saying it would be fun being a Mission President, but the calling I have heard most people express a desire for is Young Men's Presidency because they think it would be fun..  Can't remember women saying what they want to be called as save myself which was Primary teacher, though many love their callings and have expressed they would be happy if called to it again...but more teachers say this than leaders in my experience.  Leaders tend to have more boring jobs in most members' opinions that I have seen.

Edited by Calm

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I suppose I’m the only one who has observed extended family showing up to sacrament when someone is being called to be Bishop. 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I suppose I’m the only one who has observed extended family showing up to sacrament when someone is being called to be Bishop. 

Bishop...I don't deny there is status there, but I just don't see it for much else of local besides SP and MP.  You seemed to be saying almost any calling led to back patting for status increase.

Family showing up....my extended family shows up most for baptisms and mission farewells.  Family show up for other reasons besides status in my experience.

Edited by Calm

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28 minutes ago, Calm said:

Bishop...I don't deny there is status there, but I just don't see it for much else of local besides SP and MP.  You seemed to be saying almost any calling led to back patting for status increase.

Family showing up....my extended family shows up most for baptisms and mission farewells.  Family show up for other reasons besides status in my experience.

Baptisms missions and blessings make sense, as they are available to all who choose. 

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Posted (edited)

Why congratulate ?Because it's nicer than poking them in the eye 

Edited by mfbukowski
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