Madam President

I’ve been trying to do a book review but my heart just isn’t in it. Instead let me tell you about my new calling. For those who aren’t Mormon let me explain what a calling is:  In our church everything is run by volunteers. Even the pastor (called the Bishop) works for free in addition to having a regular job. We are expected to work hard because taking care of each other is what God wants. People are the Lord’s hands and we’d better help each other because that’s the whole point of life, for pete’s sake. So each job at church is called a calling. Mormons are huge fans of speaking to God and firmly believe that God speaks back. So when it’s time for a job to be filled (most callings are held for two or three years), the leaders pray about it and get an answer of who would be best for that job. It works pretty well for us.

My new calling is a doozy. I’m the Relief Society President.

I know. But I swear the church is still true!

Which means, according to Julie Beck who has been the Big Cheese in Salt Lake City for the last five years, I am responsible for every home in my ward. Repeat: every home in my ward.


All the needs of the women (hence their husbands and children too) are my job. Mormons have their own welfare system and the Bishop and I work together to make sure everyone is fed and clothed. And visited. I will be visiting all the women in the ward, as well as being in charge of visiting teaching (see that glossary over to the left if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Supervising/planning/executing visiting teaching is a full-time job in itself.

I’ve had this calling for not even two weeks and I spent half of that time out of state. I got home from the SNAP conference on Monday night and spent the ENTIRE Tuesday on the phone or visiting with people who needed something.

And then yesterday. Oh gosh. I won’t go into details as it’s not appropriate but our ward suffered a terrible tragedy. I called up the former Relief Society President who is on a much-needed vacation and just wailed, “helllllllppppp!” We talked for a while and she gave me a lot of good advice. And then ended with, “this is pretty much the worst thing that could happen. So from here on out things will only get better for you!”


Why am I telling you this? One, if you are a praying person please pray for me. I am not the sweet and huggy type of woman usually called to be the RS Pres. Please pray that I don’t screw this up too badly.

Secondly, I’m not sure how blogging is going to fit into all of this. My spare time will be a little iffy. Hopefully this will help me to squander my time less and I’ll actually be disciplined for once and blog more.  Maybe I’ll keep blogging and give up entirely on housecleaning. Now that’s a brilliant solution!

Either way, you can be sure I’m going to nag you a lot about being good! (Nah, I won’t. But since we’re at it, how is your 3-month supply coming along?)

| Filed under Church, I'm Not So Great

23 thoughts on “Madam President

  1. Congratulations!!! I hope you still have time for blogging, movies and toilet flappers. 🙂 RSP is pretty important stuff and now you may turn into one of those serious ladies. Best wishes managing it all, you’ll be great.

  2. One of my good friends became R.S. Pres this past year and within the first week there was a murder in her ward, and then not to long after her secretary’s husband got put in jail and will possibly be deported, and her 1st counselor didn’t like her and was super mean and asked to be released. Oh, and the Bishop is very micro-managing and wants specific details like what they are eating at enrichment and what the speakers are speaking on-with details. Oi. I should give you her email so you can commiserate.

    So mostly–good luck with that.

  3. Best calling I ever had! You will be amazed at what you will be able to accomplish. My one piece of advice is to always listen to the Spirit and everything will work out — Good Luck! P.S. Please keep blogging . . . I love your sense of humor and will miss it if you don’t post!!

  4. I knew it! I hesitate to say congrats, because that is a job I would never want, so rather, I’ll say, best wishes!

    Make sure you take breaks. Like trips to Hawaii for two weeks to sit under an umbrella and read while no one can get a hold of you. You’ll need to recharge every so often.

    I’d love to serve as one of your counselors and see you in full action.

  5. Ellen and I are good friends. We’ve been RSPing in neighboring stakes together for a few years now. Find yourself a RSP who’s kind of local, and will be a friend to you. You’ll be able to share things together and support each other. We even take RSP retreats. You’ll love your calling. Especially with a friend.
    And by the way? I think you’ll do GREAT.

  6. I have this friend that no matter what you are dealing with you in your own life she always likes to say “Well, at least you don’t have cancer like my mom has had for the last 20 years and dealt with. So I think you can handle this.” And I always at that point wonder why I am friends with her. B/c sorry I like a pity party. I want someone to validate my whining. And her mom is around after 20 years. I mean is she really suffering from cancer? She has good hair so she obviously isn’t in chemo.

    Whatever the worse thing was that happened I am sorry. I hope it only gets better. You are a good person. I kind of hope you do share stories along the way though. B/c with your story telling sarcasm……that is one of your other true callings. 🙂 Good luck! I’m praying for you!

  7. You will be amazing because you are a compassionate person as much as you like to be sassy. Nothing wrong with a sassy RSP. You’ll touch many people’s lives. It can be overwhelming at times, but the best part of being the president is that your job is to work directly with the women and families. Let everyone else around you handle logistics, activities, meetings, etc. You’ll be plenty busy with food orders, visits, and visiting teaching. And, you’ll see your ward in a completely new light because you’ll know many of their triumphs and personal sorrows. My prayers (and the prayers of your ward, family, and friends) are with you.

  8. First of all, you will do great. Secondly, I don’t think it’s safe to assume that the worst possible thing could happen is out of your way. Hang in there!

  9. I met you briefly at SNAP. I’m praying for you. I’m currently the Primary president and that is part of the reason I normally only blog once a week. SNAP helped me realize this is not the time in my life to focus on blogging. I enjoy it but other things are priority right now. At some point (once my kids are all in school and I don’t have such a busy calling) I hope to focus on blogging more. You can share ideas and help many people through blogging but sometimes it is more important to help the people closest to you. Good luck with your new calling.

  10. I’m sure you’ll be fantastic. I’m regularly in awe of what you do, so I expect the ladies of your ward will be.

  11. I was recently released from RSP, and my greatest achievement was that only one person (that I know of) left the church because of me. So my ward is mostly still intact, and my family survived. Oh, it was hard; everything I said “I can handle anything BUT that,” happened. But even harder was being released, and losing all the spiritual gifts that I thought I had earned; I didn’t realize they were just on loan. So there’s something for you to look forward to (you’re welcome). Good luck – you’ll be fabulous, of course.

    1. I’ve been thinking about your comment all day. I can already see the difference in my spirituality. But I assumed it was because I’m actually praying all the time and studying my scriptures. Kind of sad that it’s probably not the reason.

      What else can you tell me that I need to know?

  12. Sorry I missed this! I have been preoccupied with other things lately. Anyway, very cool to hear, you’ll do great. Take care, Hildie! (That’s a new one for me too since I’ve read your blog.) xo

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