Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mormon Bishops

My dad was a bishop. Most of the people who read my blog are LDS, but there are a few who aren't and may not quite understand the role of bishop in the typical LDS ward. They are sometimes called the father of the ward. Like fathers, they do a lot for the people they serve--without a whole lot in return. Bishops donate oodles amount of time to the community they've been called to preside over. They should be spiritual, compassionate, organized, a good leader, a good teacher, a model father and husband, a friend to the youth, kind to children. Well you get the idea. They should be about everything good--and nothing bad. Being the child of a bishop was a little bit of a pain in the neck, because if I was a smart alec in Sunday School, the teacher would pull me aside and remind me that I should be setting an example. I should've reminded the teacher that my dad was a smart alec too, so I came by it naturally, but I didn't. Usually, I just said I would try to do better, but I said it with a scowl and roll of my eyes--or a smirk.

Since that time, I've had at least a dozen bishops. In varying degrees, I've liked all of my bishops. Some I've known very well since my husband often served in the bishopric with them, well about six times, he's been in a bishopric. A bishopric consists of about 6 men who are counselors and clerks who help the bishop, but ultimately the responsibility of the entire ward of several hundred people lies squarely on the bishop's shoulders. The others can only do so much. I've worked closely with a few bishops in some of my own callings. Without exception, these bishops I grew to respect.

In Grouse Creek, our bishops wore cowboy boots, big buckles, and had an obvious tan line, typical of ranchers who wears hats and work outdoors. We've had bishops who drove school buses, farmed, taught, ran businesses and so forth. They can come from all walks of life. So where am I going with all of this? Bishops often set the personality of a ward. I'm in a new ward. Adjusting to a new ward is a challenge. For many of the years we've been in Paradise, we've been in the same ward and have made a lot of friends. I've been in a bit of a funk in our new ward. I feel a bit invisible, and even unloved. This is no ones fault, well except maybe mine. People are nice enough, but they don't know me. However, Mick and I are both happy with our new bishop. Yeah, we know it doesn't make any difference in whether or not the church is true, but we think he's pretty cool. Here's a picture of him with his family---trick or treating at our house. See?


Josi said...

I'm glad you've got a great bishop and I hope your ward soon figures out what an asset they have in you. I find you one of the most compassionate and generous people I've met--wait, maybe you don't want them to know that about you :-) Who knows what calling you'll get put into. Do you think it's harder in small towns? We had a heck of a time when we came to Willard, the people just didn't seem to know how to welcome new comers. Once we found out place, however, we loved it.

Carole Thayne said...

Josi, ha. You're safe saying that on my blog, because I guarantee no one in my new ward reads my blog. And thanks for the compliment. I do think small towns are hard. On Friday we went out to eat with some friends from Paradise who aren't LDS. Even they have noticed the four distinct communities within Paradise--the ward boundaries. They made a joke about, never the twain shall meet.

M said...

Love this post. You know I can relate on being a bishop's child.

I love how bishops do come from all walks of life. That's one of the things that makes our church so interesting - things change up all the time.

I know once people in your ward get to know you, they will love you.

Lisa Lou said...

Does that bishop have tatoos? And his wife looks like a harlot!!! I love the post! Just so you know, someone from your ward checks your blog frequently. Something about prying into someone else's world make me feel a bit like a peeping tom, but I kind of like it!