The Folk Prophet

Calling secrecy

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I vaguely understand why it might be important to keep it under wraps who's being called as the new bishop or something akin. Even then, the only real reason I can think of is for the special "reveal" moment when it's officially announced so everyone can go "Ooooo" together.

But why (in your various opinions) do we keep who's been called a secret until they're actually announced for sustaining. Particularly in lesser callings? Like as the Sunday School president, I feel the need to keep it secret from my wife who I've submitted to be the librarian. Which is weird. 

I can understand why it should be moderately kept under wraps prior to the person accepting the call. Because then there's the potential issue of the resultant gossip if they don't accept the call, or if the bishop simply rejects them...then why? Are they not worthy? Etc. etc. Sure. Makes total sense. But once they've accepted then.... ???

I mean I've been specifically counselled to not tell anyone until I've been sustained when I've been extended callings. Why? Does anyone have a good reason for this thinking that can satisfy my curiosity? :)

Don't get me wrong. I'm not frustrated or anything by the matter. I've just come across several situations recently where it's come to my attention and I've thought, "weird." Like the bishop is talking to me about the librarian's that have accepted (as I'm attending to the library due to not having any librarians) and will be sustained soon, and his wife walks into the library and he clams up like we're the CIA discussing classified national security secrets. I'm not saying he shouldn't. And, generally, for a bishop just keeping things between the involved parties is good practice. But it still felt weird to me.

Anyhow...probably a short thread. But..... no one I've asked has been able to give me a satisfying answer. Not that I need satisfaction on the matter. Just.... you know....curious.

Thoughts?

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In MY personal experience there have been times where there was reason to keep a calling secret and times I couldn't understand why.

Reasons I've seen to keep it a secret were:

1.  Person in the calling currently didn't know they were being released.  

2.  Person being called wanted time to think about counselors or other positions under their purview that might change.

3.  Bishop wanted to tell the President "over" the person being called to a different position.

These are just the reasons I've seen, but there are likely others as well.   

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1 hour ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I vaguely understand why it might be important to keep it under wraps who's being called as the new bishop or something akin. Even then, the only real reason I can think of is for the special "reveal" moment when it's officially announced so everyone can go "Ooooo" together.

But why (in your various opinions) do we keep who's been called a secret until they're actually announced for sustaining. Particularly in lesser callings? Like as the Sunday School president, I feel the need to keep it secret from my wife who I've submitted to be the librarian. Which is weird. 

I can understand why it should be moderately kept under wraps prior to the person accepting the call. Because then there's the potential issue of the resultant gossip if they don't accept the call, or if the bishop simply rejects them...then why? Are they not worthy? Etc. etc. Sure. Makes total sense. But once they've accepted then.... ???

I mean I've been specifically counselled to not tell anyone until I've been sustained when I've been extended callings. Why? Does anyone have a good reason for this thinking that can satisfy my curiosity? :)

Don't get me wrong. I'm not frustrated or anything by the matter. I've just come across several situations recently where it's come to my attention and I've thought, "weird." Like the bishop is talking to me about the librarian's that have accepted (as I'm attending to the library due to not having any librarians) and will be sustained soon, and his wife walks into the library and he clams up like we're the CIA discussing classified national security secrets. I'm not saying he shouldn't. And, generally, for a bishop just keeping things between the involved parties is good practice. But it still felt weird to me.

Anyhow...probably a short thread. But..... no one I've asked has been able to give me a satisfying answer. Not that I need satisfaction on the matter. Just.... you know....curious.

Thoughts?

One reason might be to avoid complaints prior to sustaining. I have seen a couple times where someone was called as bishop who the congregation was not a fan of. Had word gotten out before sustaining, there would likely have been complaints. It could become political fast if everyone knew who was going to be called to a specific calling

Another reason may be to avoid people seeking the future bishops judgement on something prior to them having authority.

Edited by Fether

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18 minutes ago, Fether said:

One reason might be to avoid complaints prior to sustaining. I have seen a couple times where someone was called as bishop who the congregation was not a fan of. Had word gotten out before sustaining, there would likely have been complaints. It could become political fast if everyone knew who was going to be called to a specific calling

Is there something worse about complaining about the to-be bishop vs complaining about the sustained bishop? Or do you mean to imply that once sustained, those who would complain before, having now sustained, wouldn't complain any more? I guess that makes some sort of sense I guess.

Doesn't seem to apply to the "who's the new librarian" idea though. :D 

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I've been a clerk or Exec Secretary for over a decade, helping six different bishops.   I've been in years of meetings where the organization presidents submit names, names and callings get discussed, things prayed about, decisions made, and assignments to extend callings made.  I've lost track of how many times something changes after that, which result in someone else being called.  

First, submitting names doesn't mean you'll get what you want.  The bishopric often (usually) have an awful lot more information about the people involved than the org presidents do.  I remember we had a primary president that would show up monthly to bishopric meetings, bringing them a big plate of homemade cookies, and a very detailed list of who she wanted called, and to which class.  She usually got maybe half to three-quarters of what she wanted.  Sometimes she'd get frustrated because she didn't understand why she didn't get everything.

Next, I've heard many stories that the act of offering the calling will often bring new information to the bishopric that has many different things be re-considered.  Bishops hear about people planning to move, or massive personality conflicts get unearthed, or new information shows up that has the bishop thinking "brother x shouldn't be the SS president, he should be the deacon's adviser", etc.  I've seen last-minute inspiration hit the bishop, after all the talking and deciding was done.  The spirit gets a veto - I've seen it at least half a dozen times.

Occasionally, I've seen callings extended and accepted, but before it can be brought to the congregation, something changes somewhere else, and a last-second 5-minutes-before-sacrament shuffle gets made.  The more people who knew about what was going to happen, the more confusion and sometimes difficult feelings need to be dealt with.

One way to support and sustain your bishop, is by making his life easier by just keeping quiet about your new calling, until you hear about it in sacrament meeting with the rest of the congregation.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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I do see the benefit of having things being private before an official announcement is made-- just to simplify things versus having the gossip grape-vine involved.  That is the point of an announcement: to let people know.  We would do the same at work: if you're discussing "Sam" being put on this team & in those negations, you don't make an announcement until things are official.  

Now, I don't think this needs to be taken to the extreme of sneaking around like a CIA agent.  And culturally, I've seen that done which is silly.  Like feel free to discuss things with your spouse.   

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5 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Is there something worse about complaining about the to-be bishop vs complaining about the sustained bishop? Or do you mean to imply that once sustained, those who would complain before, having now sustained, wouldn't complain any more? I guess that makes some sort of sense I guess.

Doesn't seem to apply to the "who's the new librarian" idea though. :D 

Keeping a standard rule of “dont tell anyone before sustaining” seems to be the most simple approach and easiest way to avoid problems.

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I've seen this exact situation turn into a real stumbling block that contributed to a person falling away from the church.  In another ward, some people heard that their Bishop was about to be called as a Counsellor in the new Stake Presidency. One person directly asked the Bishop, after he had accepted the call, but before the call had been made public, if this was true. The Bishop denied it. The following Sunday, he was called as a Counsellor in the new Stake Presidency. This person sustained them but was troubled by the fact that the former Bishop had directly lied to them only a few days before being sustained in the new calling. When this person took their concerns to the Stake President, the Stake President tried to reassure them by saying that he was the one who had asked the former Bishop  to deny that he was about to be called as a new Counsellor. In the eyes of the person with the concerns, this did nothing to lessen the responsibility of their former Bishop for lying - it just brought the Stake President under the same shadow. Believing that his former Bishop, with whom he previously had a good relationship, and broken the 8th commandment by lying to him, and that this lying was done under the direction of his Stake President, was enough to plant the seeds of doubt that ultimately led to this person leaving the church. Perhaps a better way would have been for the former Bishop to privately meet with and inform the person that asked, that yes, they were about to be called as a new Counsellor, and then ask that person to not share this information with anyone.  

 

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Yeesh.  May heaven protect and preserve us from members who would lose a testimony over learning that humans are human.  And may the Lord protect and preserve the next object of that guy's devotion, if they fail to live up to his standards.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Yeesh.  May heaven protect and preserve us from members who would lose a testimony over learning that humans are human.  And may the Lord protect and preserve the next object of that guy's devotion, if they fail to live up to his standards.

Lol, that is exactly what happened! When the Stake President didn't respond as desired, this guy took his complaint up with the Area Presidency and then beyond that. 

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On 12/17/2021 at 3:28 PM, The Folk Prophet said:

I vaguely understand why it might be important to keep it under wraps who's being called as the new bishop or something akin. Even then, the only real reason I can think of is for the special "reveal" moment when it's officially announced so everyone can go "Ooooo" together.

But why (in your various opinions) do we keep who's been called a secret until they're actually announced for sustaining. Particularly in lesser callings? Like as the Sunday School president, I feel the need to keep it secret from my wife who I've submitted to be the librarian. Which is weird. 

I can understand why it should be moderately kept under wraps prior to the person accepting the call. Because then there's the potential issue of the resultant gossip if they don't accept the call, or if the bishop simply rejects them...then why? Are they not worthy? Etc. etc. Sure. Makes total sense. But once they've accepted then.... ???

I mean I've been specifically counselled to not tell anyone until I've been sustained when I've been extended callings. Why? Does anyone have a good reason for this thinking that can satisfy my curiosity? :)

Don't get me wrong. I'm not frustrated or anything by the matter. I've just come across several situations recently where it's come to my attention and I've thought, "weird." Like the bishop is talking to me about the librarian's that have accepted (as I'm attending to the library due to not having any librarians) and will be sustained soon, and his wife walks into the library and he clams up like we're the CIA discussing classified national security secrets. I'm not saying he shouldn't. And, generally, for a bishop just keeping things between the involved parties is good practice. But it still felt weird to me.

Anyhow...probably a short thread. But..... no one I've asked has been able to give me a satisfying answer. Not that I need satisfaction on the matter. Just.... you know....curious.

Thoughts?

It is the presiding (conducting) authority's prerogative to make the announcement to the congregation in line with the priesthood order in which we all function. It is also to prevent embarrassment and speculation if things change last minute.

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