Need advice on how to help unhappy Mormon co-worker

Hello all,

At my place of employment, which is a grocery chain, I have a good friend who is LDS, and he’s really struggling and stressed-out, and I don’t know how to help him. He’s in management, and he’s too focused on how unfair the store policies are, and that he’s expected to do things which he doesn’t have time for, and that he’s treated unfairly. It’s true that there’s not enough time to get everything done that needs to be done, but he can’t let go of the unfairness of it, and he obsesses on it to the point that I’m worried that he’ll up and quit without having another job lined up. He has a wife and children. He’s always been kind to me, and he confides in me a lot, and I pray for him and his family, and have tried to offer advice from a Catholic point of view, which he is open to, but nothing has helped.

Is there something inherent in Mormonism which would cause a Mormon to be too focused on always having to be treated fairly and justly? I guess I’m asking for two things:

  1. Advice on how to help an LDS co-worker
  2. Is there anything inherent in Mormonism that would cause this outlook of continually focusing on unfairness.


Part of his problem could be that he is LDS. Having a persecution complex is a normal part of being a Mormon. Their religion and their culture both reinforce feelings of persecution by constantly reminding them of the supposed persecutions of the past and by saying “persecution is the heritage of the faithful”. Therefore, the more faithful he is, the more persecution he should expect.

From your description of this guy it seems that he is feeling persecuted. I think that leaving Mormonism would go a long way toward getting his attitude more in line with reality.


Your co-worker probably also has a lot demands on his time from the LDS church. Does he have an important calling? He probably doesn’t have enough time to meet his various demands in general as the LDS church has a tendency to suck people away from their families.

As Paul said, he also probably has a Mormon persecution complex.

I have a coworker who focuses on unfairness, to the point that he’s become a joke to others. :frowning: He isn’t Mormon, but keeps a litany of unfairness and is happy to recite it often, to anyone. This litany goes back nearly a decade. He’s been saying he is going to quit because of all this unfairness for at least 3 years.

I have found the only way to help him is to be kind to him. Don’t participate in the jokes at his expense. I’ve tried to be the listening ear, but honestly his complaining wears me down. So I am kind, but I avoid being with him alone, such as lunches, carpooling, etc, as alone with him means a recitation of the unfairness litany.

I think it is a psychological issue, and would like to recommend that he seeks counseling, but then I know he would view it as all the unfairness (see the litany) caused the counseling expense, which is of course, unfair.

Good luck.

It may have something to do with Mormonism.

Or it may have zero to do with Mormonism…

Being human, he can just be feeling overwhelmed. And you dont know what is going on in his private life.

You mention you all work in a grocery chain. Is there anything about your work environment that would make him a target because he is Mormon?

Like Rebecca said, it may be more of a psychological/ stress issue.

Hard to discern with so very little to go by

Thanks for the info about a persecution complex being part of being a Mormon. He does seem to be a faithful LDS, so maybe he does feel the persecution personally. I think that it would be very good for him to get away from the LDS. I’ve had the opportunity to talk a lot about Catholicism, and he even mentioned once that he might go to Mass, but he never did.

He’s never mentioned anything about having an important calling. One of his frustrations, though, is that he works on Sunday, and can’t get to church. Though he says that it’s more important for him and his family to go to a sort of testimony type of service (or something like that) that happens after the church service.

Good advice. Fortunately, he’s not the butt of jokes in the workplace. In fact, there’s not been much gossip about him all. You mentioned the unfairness litany, which wears me down, too, but mainly because I can’t find a way to help. He has had counseling for the problem, because he also focuses a lot on unfairness in the world in general, not just the workplace.

I’ve mentioned to him about Jesus’ suffering and that we should remember the unfairness the He received, and that seemed to help for awhile. I also remind him to pray and ask for help, which he used to agree that he needs to do, but now I think he’s tired of having me remind him to pray.

Are there Smith’s stores in your area?
When I was in college I worked for this Mormon grocer. They really favored their Mormon employees over others. Perhaps he would feel better working fro a Mormon concern.


I really think it is a mental health issue. All of us focus on the negative, and unfairness of situations, at times. But these people are stuck there, and it freezes them. Their work life is unsatisfactory and their social lives are a disaster.

I don’t know how to help him. I stay positive.

You’re right. Who knows if it has something to do with Mormonism or not. But he’s such a nice guy, and he truly wants to do the right thing, but has a skewed notion of justice. Regarding his private life, he is having a lot of problems with one of his children, which contributes greatly to his stress, but even before the problems with the child began, he was very focused on the unfairness thing. One of the good things about him is that he always says nice things about his wife. She sounds like a saintly person, to me.

I don’t think that there’s anything that would make him a target for being a Mormon. Nobody bats an eye about religion at work. If someone is a Catholic, a Mormon or atheist, its no big deal. I live in a very liberal west coast city.

I’ll check and see if there are any Smith stores here. I live in Seattle. Thanks.

He may be overworked or treated unfairly or he may suffer from depression. If he has legitimate concerns is there a union leader or upper management person he could talk to?
If his negativity is due to stress and or depression he may need counseling and medication.

You can continue to pray with and for him, but don’t
let him stress you out.

What does his wife think?

He has talked to upper level management, which was helpful for some issues, but not everything. Yeah, I suppose it could be depression, but he seems rather upbeat, even when he’s complaining about the unfairness, and even makes jokes about it.

I’ll continue to pray for him.

Good idea to ask what his wife thinks. I hadn’t thought about that. I’ll ask him that the next time the subject comes up. :slight_smile:

Call Marcus Grodi at Journey Home at EWTN.

They are equipped to help in dealing with this kind of issue.

Marcus or his staff will put you in touch with other Mormons who have dealt with this issue.

May God help in your search.

Good idea. Thanks.

Ah yes, the old " I have to work on Sunday thing". I worked for a local Walmart some years back and those Mormons that had to work on Sundays were quite upset they had to. They felt like because they were Mormons they were being treated unfairly. (I was a manager in a certain area so I had a few lds in my area) I told them they were mistaken because the majority of the Mormons that work there have Sunday off. I told them to either get over it or quit. ( Not in those exact words :D) Im not sure what grocery store you (O.P) work at but couldn’t he/she change the days the they want off? Even if its every other Sunday?

It may not be an important calling but it could be a demanding one. It may be he has a depression/stress issue and that could easily stem from the demands of the LDS church. There is a lot of pressure when one is working towards godhood. “We are saved by grace after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). There may be a lot of factors at work.

My husband used to work Sundays and every time he had a Sunday off, the bishop’s counselor would approach him and tell him he needed to get a new job.

If there is any way he can get Sundays off, that may help lower his stress level. It may stop any judging from other members if he is facing that too (or pressure on his wife). Although, I think it is good for you to share you “testimony” to him in a kind way. What in your church has helped you to deal with stress? Share with him what you have learned of the love of God, His mercy and His grace.

When you work in retail, unless you work for a company that is closed on Sunday, you’ll have Sunday shifts. That is reality. I worked in retail for nearly 30 years, some of the Mormons I worked with were always making excuses for missed time, as though no one else has a life with obligations outside of work. If that is all that is bothering your coworker, I’d tell him to get over himself. Everyone is taking Sunday shifts, everyone would like to have time off that is denied. That’s called, living an adult life.

If his job description excludes Sunday shifts, which I doubt, then he can go to HR and explain that he is being asked to work outside of his job description. He can even try to approach it as a religious obligation, and by law in the U.S., you can’t deny people time off for religious observance. Such a request would most likely affect his hours, and he may have to take every Sunday as vacation time, but it’s up to him if he is going to make that sacrifice, not his employer.

It is a circle of unfairness in his eyes, as I have known people through my life who don’t want to take on the work, and then don’t progress in their career because they expressed over and over again that they don’t want the work required to progress. The best he can do is take on the work, stop complaining, and work towards a management position where he may have more control over his hours.

That, or shift careers. Go back to school. No one is going to give him a career on a silver platter. He has to work for it.

With a grain of salt and the prior replies considered ---- this could be applicable to the non religious, etc etc so I will hope and pray for anyone whether LDS or not who is such a circumstance.

Bring out the best of adversity in our lives is the road that I would recommend without question. That is words, nonetheless a number of people in the world’s history have experienced a lot worst versus you or I who have our own experience.

Make it a better day and week.

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