Tag Archives: bishop

My notes on the Work of Salvation broadcast

I’m sure many of you watched the Work of Salvation broadcast this past Sunday. It was a good broadcast, but I’d read so much “hype” about it online that I guess I was a little disappointed that there was nothing earth-shattering about what was shared. I acknowledge that is my fault for falling for the hype.

Overall it was a nice meeting. There were a few lines that really stuck out for me, and I’ve bolded them below and added a couple of comments in italics.

Look at all those missionaries… what a sight!

A choir sang Hark. All Ye Nations!

Ten of the Apostles were there

Elder Jeffrey R Holland conducted

  • You will never be part of a zone conference this large ever again
  • We’ve been thinking “there they go” but we need to think “here they come”

The invocation was offered by Elder Ludlow

Elder Holland

  • At Church Headquarters we counsel widely; we hear from everyone on all vital issues
    I loved the phrase (counsel widely)! I totally agree that leaders need to be open and discuss issues with everyone affected. Trust the other leaders that they have worthwhile things to say, and that they will keep the necessary confidences.
  • There was a Mission (Washington), a Stake (Peru) and a Ward (Hawaii) via satellite to represent all the other councils
  • The Seventy have clearly defined responsibilities for missionary work

Elder L Tom Perry (he almost jumped out of his seat… it’s hard to believe that he is 90 years old!)

  • As all these missionaries go out we ask “what will they do?”
  • They will do what they have always done
  • The nature of missionary work must change in order for the work to move forward
  • Missionaries will be able to use computers during less busy time
  • This will be phased in over several months
  • Internet safety is paramount
  • Missionaries will give building tours
  • 70,274 missionaries
  • 52 new missions this year for 405 total
  • 173 new mission presidents this year
  • What we are being asked to do has not changed, but how we do it has changed
    I think this is true for much of the gospel. The core doctrine does not change, but how we implement it in our lives can change depending on the time we live in.
  • If or greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel than we all have the responsibility to invite everyone to come unto Christ
  • Every Ward should have a Ward Mission Plan
  • We should be anxiously engaged

Elder Holland

  • An invitation that is born of our love for others and our love of the Savior will never be seen as offensive and judgmental

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Our work begins on our knees
  • When we leave our meetings is when we bring about His most important purposes
    Attending meetings isn’t as important as committing to action at the meetings and then going forth to do it
  • He shared some stories from the Tampa Florida area. In the end, 32 men were sustained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood at their recent stake conference
  • We often receive different help from the Lord than expected; but it is always better
  • There is a new section of LDS.org called “Hastening the Work of Salvation”

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • He showed a video with Sister Neill F Marriott of the General Young Women Presidency about her conversion
  • Too often we split the work into areas that seem unrelated
    The work is indivisible
    They are not separate but all part of the work of salvation
    Great points!
  • The Bishop and Ward Mission Leader set the pace of missionary work
  • Good leaders, like good parents, take actions because of love

President Boyd K Packer

  • Everything comes down to teaching
  • Live so you can depend on the Spirit
  • The greatest teaching that goes on in the Church is done by mothers
    I couldn’t agree more. My wife is a superb teacher to my children
  • The Atonement is the mighty healer
  • Just do it right; be better

President Thomas S Monson

  • Now is the time for us to come together to bring souls unto Him
  • Shared the story of how the St Thomas Branch in Ontario grew
  • Have faith in the work

The choir sang Called to Serve

Sister Estorga offered the benediction

What do you do with a bishop, when he stops being a bishop?

I’m sure almost everyone has seen White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen. In short, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are in the army serving under General Tom Waverly. General Waverly retires. After the war, Bing and Danny become a top song-and-dance act. At one point they find out that the General needs help and they put on a show for him with all their army buddies from before. One of the songs that is sung starts with:

What can you do with a general
When he stops being a general?
Oh, what can you do with a general who retires?

It may sound strange, but that is the song that kept playing over and over in my head the week I was released as bishop. Yes, after serving as bishop of my ward for 6 years, 2 months, 16 days, I was released. It happened a year ago today, but I’m just getting around to writing about it. I figured I’d share some of my thoughts and feelings about my time as bishop.

First off, let me tell you that I am still active, and I still love the Church. Hopefully no one is disappointed by this. There was nothing that I faced that made me question my faith. The ward is generally intact, and if anything might be a bit stronger than it was. I would have served for years less or years more if that is what was needed of me. However, with that being said, it was still very hard to be released. It had nothing to do with losing the authority and everything to do with losing the privilege of helping people one-on-one. Yes, I’m still a husband, father, friend and home teacher, but this is not what I’m talking about. Members generally love and respect their bishop. I felt this from week one. The week before I was just some guy was serving as the Elders Quorum President. The following week I was the bishop and the members immediately trusted me. They came in and confided some of their most difficult problems. They looked for counsel. They cried tears of sorrow and tears of joy. I felt like a better man literally every week I went to church. That’s what I miss. I’m now just a guy again. I help when I can, but now another man has that privilege of those experiences. I have righteous envy.

I also miss how serving as bishop helped my family. It seems counter-intuitive, but during my time as bishop we had more order in our family, and possibly more time together. I know, I know… it seems backwards. However, when I was bishop our life seemed to have more structure, which allowed us to have more time together. I was busy for 9 hours or so each Sunday, every Wednesday night, and often another evening or two each week. Yet somehow through all of that, I don’t feel that my time with my family suffered. Now that I am no longer bishop, my wife is the YW President, my responsibilities at work have increased, and the kids are getting busier. It seems that time is flying by way too quickly. We don’t have the same structure and our time together is suffering. I know that we were blessed when I was bishop so that our time together didn’t suffer. In a way, I think this is part of the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood where it says that when priesthood holders are faithful in the priesthood and magnify our callings, they “are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies”(D&C 84: 33).

Lastly, I miss just being involved. It isn’t that no one cares about me, but things are happening and I don’t know about it. It seems funny to write that. It sounds like I’m gossipy or nosey. That, of course, isn’t it. When you are bishop, you’d get to see the big picture. You have a vision of what needs to be done, and you can plan for it. I’m the type of person that thinks the more you know, the more you can do. In a way, this ties in with my first point. If you don’t know things, it is hard to help.

With all of these things (and more) that I miss, there are obviously things I don’t miss. I’m quite happy to go to church at 9 am (instead of 6 am). I’m quite happy to attend limited meetings. There were obviously hard things to deal with, and in a way it is a relief to be free from some of those burdens.

So, it’s been a year now. Shortly after being released I was called to be a Stake Institute Teacher. I teach a weekly Institute class to the college-aged young adults (18-30). The class is held every Wednesday in my home and we usually have 15-20 people attend. I love it! I haven’t studied the scriptures so thoroughly in a long time. Hopefully I’m helping these young adults appreciate the scriptures more. I’m definitely learning a lot.

My wife was an unbelievable support while I was bishop. Due to my responsibilities and our young family, her church callings were a little “easier” that what she is capable of having. Now she’s the YW President, and doing a great job with the small group of girls she has to work with.

All three of my kids are under 10. It seems that they’ve survived some of my absences. Now that I am no longer bishop, I can be more involved as they grow into pre-teen and teen years.

As I said in the beginning, I love the Church. There is a woman in our ward who likes to say, “It’s a good life” I totally agree. With all of the frustrations I may have had wit the bureaucracy and other things. I still firmly believe that the church is led by good men and women who are trying to serve “with full purpose of heart” (2 Nephi 31: 13). I’ve found that any failings we may experiences are usually because we are not united. If we sustain one another and accept each other in our weaknesses, we’ll be much better off. I was by no means perfect in my service, but I hope that I did something to help the work of the Lord move forward.

Nothing brings out Christian charity more than Church basketball…

If you follow the NothingWavering.org feed (which is where most of you are reading this), then you would have seen the most recent 9th Ward cartoon. It was particularly funny for me since I am currently a bishop, and there are bunch of guys who get together most Thursday nights and play basketball at the church. Thankfully we haven’t gotten into a fight like that 🙂