It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders

JoD3:360 Aug 2012

It took me a long time to get up the guts to say NO when commanded to visit or to meet. Since childhood I was told that the Bishop was the father of the ward and Jesus' personal servant. To disobey the Bishop is to offend Christ Himself, to lie to the bishop is to lie to the Lord.

When the Bishop last came to my home I went outside. We had to speak in my front yard in view and earshot of the neighbors. The conversation on *my* property where everyone could hear was very liberating, and very different from having to sit across the desk on his turf.

If you are called to go and visit for a discussion, remember- it is to reign you in. You are a wayward employee called on the bosses carpet. The best thing and the most liberating is to simply say No. It's hard to get up the courage because he is your boss according to the rules.

But, here is the deal- if you no longer believe, then he is no longer your boss. He has no authority over you other than to administer church justice, but isn't that the same as if you quit your job and a month later the department manager demands you return to work or you are fired?

Bishops and Auxiliary leaders thrive on being able to command and people jump to attention. Saying NO leaves them speechless. Yea, even deflated.

Sometimes it is tempting to go and to let him have an earful, and many of us have done it, but in the end, it matter little what you know. All that the Bp is interested in is hauling you in. When you go to these meetings, no matter your intentions, you show that you are still able to be pushed around and the Bishop or Stake Pres or whoever will continue to push and prod, call and knock, hassle and torment. Like the persistent ex-boyfriend, they won't get the message until you take that bouquet of flowers and throw it on the ground.

In the end, the church is false. His authority extends only as far as you let it. Once we learn that he does not have the power to call down the consuming fire from the heavens, its really just a matter of ignoring some guy called Bishop whats-his-face.

Re: It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders
My husband was bishop when I learned the church was not what it claimed to be. The stake pres. interviewed bishops wives and my husband had told him I was having issues. I sat across the SP in his office while he asked me if I had any questions for him. I told him no, as he repeated his question three times and I told him no three times. I was on his turf, I was in control and he was obviously irritated that I was not giving him what he wanted and it was very satisfying to me. He was not intimidating me while he sat behind his desk in his office. I actually preferred the meeting in his office and not in my home, I could always walk out of his office if I needed to. He asked me if I would come to him if I had any questions and I told him I could do that knowing I never would...that was the end of the discussion. We shook hands and I have not had another discussion with any "authority." I'll meet them on their turf any time, it was so worth seeing the annoyance of my SP at losing on his own turf.
Re: It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders
Oh yes!

Saying "NO" can be the most empowering act of your life.

Re: It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders
Oh, yes you never even question WHY the bishop wants to meet you. Should have seen the look of confusion on the clerks face when I asked WHY? He had no idea either.

The ward clerk phoned me one sunday morning ...
and told me "The bishop wants to meet with you today at 2:00 p.m."

Background: I was age 40 and had been totally inactive since age 17. I had never met the bishop or visited the ward house.

The phone call caught me off-guard and I agreed to the meeting. Then in the next few minutes I thought about the situation and I started getting really irritated (POed is a better description). So I phoned the ward clerk back again and said this:

"There is absolutely nothing that I want to discuss with the bishop, so I will not be coming to any meeting. In the extremely unlikely event that I change my mind, then I know how to contact you. Otherwise you should lose my phone number and don't ever call me again. Good-bye."

That was the last I ever heard from anyone in that ward. I resigned my membership 14 years later.

Happy and free
Re: It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders
Completly agree with Cynthia I know many people have advised me not to attend my 'summons' especially on his turf but honestly the thought of meeting him in my home...arghh! My home finally feels happy and settled again after months of uncertainty and tension, why invite that s**t into MY home. His office is great for me, strip away his power and control in the place he feels he should have it most, walk out when I'm ready and then hang around to chat with the members I like whilst they all arrive for 3hours of boredom. Then I shall leave and go for a coffee down by the beach savoring how enjoyable my Sundays have become :-)
I agree with you &Cynthia about the meeting place.
I wouldn't meet with a biship. But let's say I did agree, I would not want the guy invading my private space. I would be more comfortable walking out of an office than sending someone from my home after inviting them to come in and sit down. I wouldn't even want them in my yard or driveway because that's part of *my* space and I'm not comfortable welcoming cult representatives including mormons and others as well.

If I went into a bishop's office, I wouldn't bother to take a chair. I'd just tell him whatever I had to say. It could be a verbal resignation, a goodbye, a compliment, or a complaint.

I don't see much value in talking about his testimony or in hearing threats about losing blessings. In that case I'd say, "I'll be leaving now. Thank you for your time. Take care."

Or "Shove it, buddy! Time for me to go. Goodbye!"

I wish I said no
When I was called to be a Primary counselor right out of high school, I should have said no. My whole body was screaming no. But I accepted because I had been told that you never say no to the BP, even if you are an unbeliever.

Re: It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders
One major benefit - I've also found that once you do start saying 'no', they stop asking you to do things that you didn't really want to do anyway.

So while I currently do still attend due to delicate family situation, it is on my terms and I can just sit back and catch up on work emails or browse the net on my iphone instead of having to worry about fulfilling callings, giving talks or the countless other things that cause unnecessary stress.

Lethbridge Reprobate
Re: It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders
I plan on saying exactly that if and when I'm contacted about resigning. It's none of their business and I don't have to explain my reasons to anybody.

Ron Burr

Stray Mutt
Re: It really IS okay to say 'no' to Bishops and other church leaders

One advantage of my dad having been a bishop was that the mystique of bishopness totally evaporated. I knew bishops were just guys performing an administrative job, with no superpowers, no superior wisdom, no theological expertise. Some of them took themselves way to seriously, some were bullies, some were truly nice people and some were clowns. But hand-picked agents of Christ? Nah. Tell them "No" and they're lost, powerless. Because what can they do? Smite you deaf, dumb and blind on the spot? Send a plague of frogs? No. They can threaten vague eternal consequences or lay a guilt trip. Yawn.

In Mormon code "questions" means "problems with official Doctrine".

However, in the thinking world, a questions is just something unknown that needs an answer. I had questions at one point but as soon as I accepted the possibility that the church was false and the BoM was a fabrication.....all my questions suddenly had an answer. The puzzle pieces suddenly fit together once I became open to the fact that JS's was a fraudulent sack-o-@#$%&.

To say "no" I have no questions closes the door to Mo debate and shoots a hole in 'priesthood authority'. It also says that you don't think the Bp or Sp have anything substantive to add to the conversation since their role in the cult is to protect the lie.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"