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MustardSeed

Why do we congratulate people who are given callings?

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10 hours 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. 

I have seen it rarely. The one exception is when a new member of the Bishopric needs to be ordained a High Priest if their father can be there and is a High Priest they often come to perform the ordination.

Edited by The Nehor

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On 6/9/2019 at 8:18 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 congratulate occasionally, but it's intended more as a show of support than a classical congratulation.  Like @strappinglad, I sometimes offer condolences!

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

it's intended more as a show of support

I assume many family gatherings are this as well.

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Years ago My buddy was called as the new stake president, and we were talking and people kept saying to him congratulations.

i then said to him very loudly “why are they congratulating you, because you did not earn your calling.”

he smiled at me and said “ that is why I like you, you always keep me humble.”

a few months later he got his revenge.

Bishop!!

Edited by Doctrine 612
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On 6/9/2019 at 1:18 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.  

 

Implicit in most any Church calling is an expression of confidence by presiding officers — and presumably the Lord — in one’s ability, talents, inherent gifts, and above all, faithfulness and dedication to the cause of Zion and to the Church and kingdom. Furthermore, many, if not most, Church callings carry the potential for growth and perhaps the prospect of cherished experiences. I see all that as reason enough for congratulation, and I don’t at all see such expression as inappropriate or problematic. 

Edited to add: And lest some view this comment as self-serving, let me hasten to add that I’ve never been in a bishopric or stake presidency or even on a high council, nor do I anticipate that I ever would. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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7 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I have seen it rarely. The one exception is when a new member of the Bishopric needs to be ordained a High Priest if their father can be there and is. A High Priest they often come to perform the ordination.

Just wondering why, in an instance where the gender could never be indeterminate, you feel disposed to use the singular “their” (“if their father”) when the conventional grammar (if his father) would work perfectly well. 

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33 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Just wondering why, in an instance where the gender could never be indeterminate, you feel disposed to use the singular “their” (“if their father”) when the conventional grammar (if his father) would work perfectly well. 

I think I originally wrote that as plural as in multiple members of the Bishopric needed to be ordained and changed it to singular and missed one word change. I was obviously not on top of my game when I wrote that since I also left in a period and incomplete sentence. I did not mean to imply women are being ordained High Priests or being ordained to the Priesthood at all. I have shared my suspicion here a few times that I suspect that women will one day be ordained to the Priesthood but I do not believe in jumping the gun and will wait patiently until the Prophet and the apostles make the announcement and if they never do, so be it. I have been wrong before (once).

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3 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I think I originally wrote that as plural as in multiple members of the Bishopric needed to be ordained and changed it to singular and missed one word change. I was obviously not on top of my game when I wrote that since I also left in a period and incomplete sentence. I did not mean to imply women are being ordained High Priests or being ordained to the Priesthood at all. I have shared my suspicion here a few times that I suspect that women will one day be ordained to the Priesthood but I do not believe in jumping the gun and will wait patiently until the Prophet and the apostles make the announcement and if they never do, so be it. I have been wrong before (once).

I did not mean my comment to imply any ulterior motive on your part. It was, rather, born of my pet peeve over what I see as the rampant and growing use of the singular “they” or “their.”

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4 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I did not mean my comment to imply any ulterior motive on your part. It was, rather, born of my pet peeve over what I see as the rampant and growing use of the singular “they” or “their.”

I actually encourage the use of they and their in the case of a gender indeterminate singular and hope it becomes standard practice. The need to use “he or she” and “his or her” are linguistically awkward and I hope they die off. When I write for work (I am a tech writer) I use it “they” and “their” in this case. Doing my part to evolve the language.

I hope we can still be friends despite this disagreement. ;) 

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17 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I actually encourage the use of they and their in the case of a gender indeterminate singular and hope it becomes standard practice. The need to use “he or she” and “his or her” are linguistically awkward and I hope they die off. When I write for work (I am a tech writer) I use it “they” and “their” in this case. Doing my part to evolve the language.

I hope we can still be friends despite this disagreement. ;) 

Though I am adamant on this matter, it is not a thing that I would withhold friendship over. 

But use of “his or her” does not strike me as being any more awkward than using a plural pronoun to refer to a singular noun. 

That said, in many, if not most, instances, one who is writer enough to do so can find a way to word a sentence in a way that avoids the issue altogether.  

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Though I am adamant on this matter, it is not a thing that I would withhold friendship over. 

But use of “his or her” does not strike me as being any more awkward than using a plural pronoun to refer to a singular noun. 

That said, in many, if not most, instances, one who is writer enough to do so can find a way to word a sentence in a way that avoids the issue altogether.  

Usually. I generally just refer to them as “the operator” or whatever when doing technical pieces and avoid pronouns. It helps with clarity to if multiple people are involved.

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29 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Usually. I generally just refer to them as “the operator” or whatever when doing technical pieces and avoid pronouns. It helps with clarity to if multiple people are involved.

I say “he or she.” Two less syllables.  I’m efficient like that.

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On 6/9/2019 at 2:41 PM, strappinglad said:

I rarely congratulate ,  but occasionally offer condolences .

Me too!

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I have noticed this and not just in Utah (I am beginning to think if you only notice things just in Utah you are blinding yourself to the things outside of Utah. The more we travel outside of Utah and the US the more we find what goes in Utah also goes outside of it). I have also seen it 80-90% of the time with men's callings, but occasionally see it with women.

Nehor mentioned it happening with a subset of people and I think for the most part he is right. 

I do think it is a status thing for some people. Those people will not only give congratulations, but go overboard on publicly praising people for the service they give or how they raise their children etc. Not a cultural thing, but I have definitely noticed one or 2 people like this in every ward. 

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

I have noticed this and not just in Utah (I am beginning to think if you only notice things just in Utah you are blinding yourself to the things outside of Utah. The more we travel outside of Utah and the US the more we find what goes in Utah also goes outside of it). I have also seen it 80-90% of the time with men's callings, but occasionally see it with women.

 

So do you consider it a bad thing, and, if so, why?

 

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On 6/10/2019 at 1:57 PM, The Nehor said:

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?

I didn't know any Seventies when they were teenagers, least not yet. 

More importantly, is that a Darth Vader text/emoji? Dude. That's why you are THE Nehor. Not a Nehor

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On 6/10/2019 at 2:00 PM, 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. 

Yep. 

I've struggled with that for a while now.

Someone in my ward a while back shared this quote which I'm trying to internalize but having trouble with that.

“Change in our own church assignments may be even more disturbing. Often when we express a wish to never have that assignment, the bishop or stake president offers us the blessings of that self-same calling. At those times it is good to remember the words of Paul when he, troubled by many ailments, said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philip. 4:13). https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1979/10/progress-through-change?lang=eng

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2 hours ago, Joshua Valentine said:

1. I think the above shows that it is more curious why you thought I was assuming such. I only brought up bishops and men at that end, and did so because they seem likely candidates to be congratulated and because they were specifically brought up by the comment immediately preceding mine.

2. You congratulating your husband because he loves subbing seems an explanation in itself. You know he loves it, so you congratulate him on his good fortune/blessing.  While this is a reason to congratulate someone it is very specific and does not deal with why congratulations may be given generally to those given callings (of all types), which is what I was addressing with my first two points.

This is a very delayed response to you. I'd written most of this and then got very busy with life. 

 1. I don't think it's that hard of a conclusion to reach. You didn't quote anyone directly, which makes it look more like you're only responding to the OP...especially so early in a thread. 

2. If you noticed, I wrote a different post with other more general reasons that I give congratulations or some form of positive affirmations towards a calling. This one fits into the general "I know their talents would be good for their calling."

Quote

1. As above, I brought up bishops because of the comment previous to mine and because it exemplified my first two general points while naturally allowing the side note.

2. I´m not totally sure what exactly you mean about the overly pessimistic assumptions. But I was not giving a full treatise on all the possible reasons for congratulations. No comments here attempt to do such, so it could be said that anyone´s comment is overly whatever in what they choose to treat and not treat.

3. I suspect you could only be referring to: ¨not tempted solely by money, but by titles and prestige and admiration and standing in a community, as I have mentioned elsewhere.¨ However, I get nowhere near mentioning ¨a power trip¨ of any kind. Also, if this is the statement you are referring to in this last part of your comment, it is a side-note for a reason. I am referring (as I tried to make clear with the mention of money - perhaps I should have said ¨filthy lucre¨) to the LDS official prejudice against Christian/paid ministers and justification for a confidence in its leadership (unpaid ministry). It is something I have brought up elsewhere and, here, mainly for those who interacted with me then. I apologize for the lack of clarity.

4. Toward that idea in the side note, place in the community can certainly be a non-monetary source of temptation that could lead to leaders compromising on what they teach in order to keep/increase their place in the community.

1. Okay, but it doesn't fit the vast majority of callings that people may give a congrats to. And again, the OP was general, so it would make sense to me that the posited reasons should be generalizable to most callings one may congratulate. 

2 - by pessimistic, the only reasons you gave for people giving congratulations were all negative ones. Having a potential negative one wouldn't be pessimistic in and of itself. That it was the only potential reason or a mere congratulations is the main reason.....plus it only fits one specific calling: male leadership roles in the church. Nothing else. Which in the church often comes with a standing joke of feeling sorry for the person...or being relieved to be released/not getting the calling oneself. It's not seen, culturally (at least in the US wards I've been apart of) a calling one aspires to, even though it is generally a respected position. So to assume it must be the prestige seems a very pessimistic perspective to me. Just as if I assumed reverends were generally in it for the money. 

3. The clarification does help understand where you're coming from. But again, the extrapolation just doesn't seem to fit what I've actually seen. I'm aware you didn't say "power trip," but the descriptor words you did use all are derivatives of pride/ego-rubs. I have seen that happen, most poignantly with this elder I worked with on my mission where becoming a minor leader went straight to his head for a bit and was an indication of his worthiness (to him....no one else)....but again, it's generally the exception. 

******Although as an aside, paid ministers were also a common concern I saw mentioned by people we were teaching to (ie. Not members). They really really liked that we were largely lay-clergy, even if they didn't want to investigate further into our faith. Often airing their issues out to us about their local congregation and it's perceived monetary focus (I wasn't part of these congregations, so obviously I wasn't in a position to judge. I just found it interesting how often it came up as a concern).  

 

With luv,

BD

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Do you know that when women wear lipstick, the biological reason is to replicate the lips being filled with blood as happens in a romantic interlude? 

Now.  Do all women who put lipstick on need to feel accused of seeking to look like someone in the throws of passion? 

Of course not.  That said, let me introduce myself.  I’m mustardseed, and I like to observe the psychology and etiology of human behavior. I like to understand human motivation, and I like to say “maybe there is a more evolved way of operating.”  

Do I think it’s “wrong” to congratulate people for callings? Yes, but I don’t think ill of any person who does so automatically.  I don’t judge the person, I dislike the act and why it happens, on a deeper level than first glance.  It’s not rocket science, world peace or even what’s for dinner, it’s a simple observation and one that I’ve noticed in all my wards from childhood through life in several locations across the US.  

 

Edited by MustardSeed

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4 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

Do you know that when women wear lipstick, the biological reason is to replicate the lips being filled with blood as happens in a romantic interlude? 

Now.  Do all women who put lipstick on need to feel accused of seeking to look like someone in the throws of passion? 

Of course not.  That said, let me introduce myself.  I’m mustardseed, and I like to observe the psychology and etiology of human behavior. I like to understand human motivation, and I like to say “maybe there is a more evolved way of operating.”  

Do I think it’s “wrong” to congratulate people for callings? Yes, but I don’t think ill of any person who does so automatically.  I don’t judge the person, I dislike the act and why it happens, on a deeper level than first glance.  It’s not rocket science, world peace or even what’s for dinner, it’s a simple observation and one that I’ve noticed in all my wards from childhood through life in several locations across the US.  

 

From this thread, it seems like it happens for a variety of reasons.  Since the motive is rarely easily apparent, how do you know when you dislike why it happens?  Or do you dislike ALL of the 'whys' so it doesn't matter what someone's motive was?  (hope that makes sense.  It's worded kind of weirdly).

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For me  There is a difference  between the Y and individual person says it and why we as a people say it. Just like with the lipstick example. I never like to hear a congratulations for a calling but I never say anything because I recognize that the individual saying it is almost always Coming from a genuinely loving place. But I think it’s a behavior that is worth examining because for example if an investigator at church for the first time overheard it, They may interpret it to mean that we place value on promotion. And in fact I believe that we do so.

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3 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

For me  There is a difference  between the Y and individual person says it and why we as a people say it. Just like with the lipstick example. I never like to hear a congratulations for a calling but I never say anything because I recognize that the individual saying it is almost always Coming from a genuinely loving place. But I think it’s a behavior that is worth examining because for example if an investigator at church for the first time overheard it, They may interpret it to mean that we place value on promotion. And in fact I believe that we do so.

I totally get what you are saying and I think it's valid.  

For me, the way that I've heard congratulations used keeps me from seeing it as showing value on promotion.  I usually hear it used when someone is called into the youth programs (there seems to be a lot of holy envy with those callings because a lot of people think they fun) but I've never heard a newly called bishop, high councilman, or RS president congratulated on the calling so that's probably why I view the practice differently.  I've only ever heard the faux-condolences expressions for those type of callings. 

If I had heard people congratulating someone for being called as a bishop, for example, then I would likely have a similar perspective to your's.

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4 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I totally get what you are saying and I think it's valid.  

For me, the way that I've heard congratulations used keeps me from seeing it as showing value on promotion.  I usually hear it used when someone is called into the youth programs (there seems to be a lot of holy envy with those callings because a lot of people think they fun) but I've never heard a newly called bishop, high councilman, or RS president congratulated on the calling so that's probably why I view the practice differently.  I've only ever heard the faux-condolences expressions for those type of callings. 

If I had heard people congratulating someone for being called as a bishop, for example, then I would likely have a similar perspective to your's.

Got it.  I’ve heard it for all of them- which hopefully explains my POV. 

For the record- I’m in yw and am totally totally cool. ;)

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