Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

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Tudor_Princess
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Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by Tudor_Princess » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:34 pm

My Dad is an uber TBM and is well up there in the stake as far as callings are concerned. He's held loads of 'high profile' callings. He told me the other day that him and his wife have a meeting with the stake President. So I messaged him today asking what his new calling was. Only because its important to him, and depending what it is I might see him less. Well he wouldn't tell me. He never tells me until its announced. This annoys me. Firstly I'm not likely to tell anyone as were in different wards and secondly doesn't he trust me?! Is this a thing, church policy? He's always done this secrecy things with callings. He has asked me twice now to come to his ward on Sunday. I'm panicking he's been called as the Bishop, which us a fairly likely scenario. I so hope he isn't as Dad wont say no to any calling yet he has soooo much on his personal life and had a heart attack less than a year ago. It annoys me that his health, family etc would ALL take a back seat to a calling.

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Brent
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by Brent » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:38 pm

Because it makes things super important and sexy.

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slavereeno
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by slavereeno » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:45 pm

I agree with Brent, if the calling is high enough you don't want to spoil that moment when everybody hears your name and goes "oooooooooh, aaaaaaaaah" and then the heavenly choirs sing hosanna and such at this profound proof of your righteousness and goodness.

Its like peeking at your Christmas presents before Christmas morning, it spoils all the "fun"

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Dravin
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by Dravin » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:51 pm

Also, by spilling the beans it kinda ruins the magic for the congregation (and not just the deliciousness for the person called). You see this when r/exmormon salivates over the thought of leaks of new apostolic appointments, the ability to announce beforehand, "It's gonna be Dave." tarnishes the mystique of it all.
Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

Tudor_Princess
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by Tudor_Princess » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:04 pm

Yes I was afraid of that answer. I think I will pray tonight that he isn't going to be the bishop!! Then if he hasn't I can claim my prayers have been answered 😁

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wtfluff
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by wtfluff » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:41 pm

I think the biggest reason that they try and keep callings secret is control. When you think about it, the secrecy is not only with "big callings" but pretty much every calling. When the Executive Secretary calls and asks if you can meet with the bishop, what happens when you ask what the meeting is about? His answer will be: "I don't know." In that case it's a control mechanism.

Beyond that, in my family, I have actually been notified by family when a sibling is going to be called as bishop, so I guess my family is OK with breaking the vow of secrecy.
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Reuben
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by Reuben » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:18 am

Here's another reason. If for some reason it doesn't work out, keeping the calling secret reduces gossip and embarrassment.
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Advocate
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by Advocate » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:03 am

I was executive secretary for a few years so I saw this in action a bit. One of the biggest surprises was how many callings don't work out. Sometimes members would turn them down, other times something else would open up (usually due to someone moving) and they would want to change a unsustained calling to give the person something else.

I think mostly callings are kept confidential to save embarrassment if a calling doesn't work out. Not only embarrassment to the person who was being called, but also to the bishopric (and anyone else involved) for not having sufficient revelation.

Of course, some members take this to the extreme and refuse to say anything about it to anyone. I don't know of any reason why someone couldn't tell their immediate family about a new calling, but I am ok with keeping them generally confidential until officially announced/sustained.

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oliver_denom
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by oliver_denom » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:50 am

Advocate wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:03 am
I was executive secretary for a few years so I saw this in action a bit. One of the biggest surprises was how many callings don't work out. Sometimes members would turn them down, other times something else would open up (usually due to someone moving) and they would want to change a unsustained calling to give the person something else.

I think mostly callings are kept confidential to save embarrassment if a calling doesn't work out. Not only embarrassment to the person who was being called, but also to the bishopric (and anyone else involved) for not having sufficient revelation.

Of course, some members take this to the extreme and refuse to say anything about it to anyone. I don't know of any reason why someone couldn't tell their immediate family about a new calling, but I am ok with keeping them generally confidential until officially announced/sustained.
I did this as well, both ward and stake. While these are very practical reasons for secrecy, I think the source of this practice goes back to maintaining lines of authority, and further back, to keeping polygamy and other less than savory activities out of the public eye. In the current church, the leadership is still taught to issue callings face to face so that they can stare deep into a person's soul. It's supposed to be the crowning moment of revelation, where the person receiving the calling feels the Lord speaking to them, or where the person issuing the calling sees some subtle queue that prompts them to ask probing questions.

In any given testimony meeting there's an entire mythos and story telling culture around receiving the mysterious call and being caught off guard. It seems to be an important part of the experience. If the Exec Sec were to spill the beans over the phone, then it would lose all gravity, people would have time to think it over, and it's a lot easier to say "no" over the phone than face to face.

The first calling I ever turned down was face to face. I could have said no over the phone, but knew the drill, and made the determination to say no in person. So we set up a date and time, both of us drove to the ward building, he said an opening prayer, we got to know each other for five or ten minutes, then he issued the call. I said "no". It was tough to do because I knew the significance of turning something down, but once I got it out, it was easy. For him on the other hand, I don't think he'd ever experienced that before. The poor guy looked blindsided and didn't know what to do, so we shook hands and left.

My take away from the experience was that 1) It takes a lot of nerve to say "no" in person, so there's a pressure element 2) The whole experience is meant to imbue the calling with specialness and weight because of the time everyone takes to meet in person.
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RubinHighlander
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:09 am

Brent wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:38 pm
Because it makes things super important and sexy.
This! Adds to the meaningless super special dogma. Hell, they'll try to make a calling like librarian sound awesome by renaming it to "Ward Digital Media Specialist." Job description: hand out pencils and keep the last church BS videos up to date on all those thumbdrives (this would be for all those poor wards with less than 15mbs of bandwidth.
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Tudor_Princess
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Re: Why are callings kept 'secret' until announced?

Post by Tudor_Princess » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:01 pm

Well, drum roll.... It was second counsellor in the bishopric. Not the bishop. Phew. Why he couldn't have just told me that. Sigh. More Mormon weirdness.

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