12 Steps to Save the Bishops !!
- Reduce and delegate more of the Bishop’s duties.
- Train them better and more frequently.
- Reimburse them well for any costs and travel expenses.
- Send members needing counseling to trained professionals.
- Encourage young teens to discuss sexual questions with their parents or trained professionals.
- Put windows in the door to the Bishop’s office.
- Allow women to make real decisions and hold a greater array of callings.
- Create an environment where “doubters” can feel free to ask and discuss issues in class.
- Make the message of the church be one of inclusion and not exclusion.
- Allow our LGBT brothers and sisters to join with us in worship without guilt.
- End the damaging message of a black and white church that is says that all other creeds are an abomination.
- Allow the Bishops to truly seek after the lost sheep, not butcher them.
In Support of Bishops
I have been blessed throughout my life with kind, hard working Bishops. Men of faith, honor and a devotion to service. I have never had a Bishop who hurt me or acted condescending in any way. These servants need our support. Please don't abandon your Bishop!
The job of Mormon Bishop has evolved dramatically over the past 180 years. Early in the Nauvoo and Kirtland periods of LDS Church History they were primarily involved in the "temporal" affairs of the church. Ie: settling land disputes, helping the poor and widows and running a storehouse of goods in case of famine. For awhile, they even got paid....but not anymore.
Over time, the responsibilities of a Bishop have grown and morphed into an often thankless job that is on the front lines of a quickly changing Mormonism. And they serve while carrying on the normal full time duties of family, jobs and life.
They are in the trenches, working and supporting men and women with real doubts and problems while the leadership in Salt Lake is often slow to recognize the genuine suffering of many of the Saints. Bishops are asked to make black and white decisions at a time when society is becoming increasingly more nuanced.
The list of Bishop duties can be overwhelming: Ward Finances, callings, missionary work, interviews, counseling, meetings, meetings and more meetings. The time alone can easily stretch to 30 or 40 hours per week. Hours away from family, fun and too often... sleep. This is selfless service of men who truly believe they are partially responsible for the salvation of their ward flock.
I was in a meeting recently where the Stake President gleefully announced "Every ward in the stake would soon have its own set of full time missionaries!". Realize please that I don't live in Mexico or the Philippines. I live in a tiny rural community in the Mormon corridor that is about 70 percent LDS. I have nevermo (Never-Mormon) friends who have been approached 20 times or more by missionaries.
I see the missionaries and feel sorry for them. They have little to do. Sadly for the Bishop, he is partly responsible to keep them busy, fed and housed in addition to keeping pretty normal 18 year old boys out of trouble.
Unfortunately it gets worse....
How is a strongly believing Bishop supposed to respond to a 17 year old young man or woman who admits to pornography or masturbation when the leader himself most likely "struggled" with the same things as a youth?
How can they mix their genuine compassion for a young man admitting he is gay with the message from the Apostles that homosexual behaviour of any form is a sin next to murder?
How unfathomable of a situation puts a 50 year old Bishop in a closed room alone with a 16 year old girl admitting to sex with her boyfriend, or perhaps her girlfriend?
And what message have Bishops received recently from the excommunication of so many prominent Mormon "agitators"? The official word from Salt Lake is that it is OK to have questions, but when you express your doubts publicly you are in danger of losing your membership. I feel sorry for Kate Kelly's Bishop. I have no doubts that he was given instructions from his leaders to excommunicate her. Mormon Bishops doing the dirty work for the Utah central church.
Bishops need help. Unfortunately the help is not coming from the General Authorities. The church's hierarchy is increasingly naive to the real world problems that the local leaders face. There are men and women with sincere doubts about the issues related to LDS doctrine and hIstory. The members are exposed to messages across the spectrum from podcasts, blogs and Facebook.
Ironically, those same Bishops whose job it is to assure and strengthen the members are often unaware that those issues or that the church is releasing controversial essays which are putting the membership on edge. I've heard multiple stories of Bishops who've been blindsided by statements on Joseph Smith's polygamy or the Book of Abraham and declare them as "anti- Mormon" lies until the facts are confirmed on LDS.org.
There are no easy answers, but I’m afraid if Bishops are not given more financial and time relief that they will become those lost sheep that need to be saved
12 Steps to Save the Bishops !!
Reduce and delegate more of the Bishop’s duties.
Train them better and more frequently.
Reimburse them well for any costs and travel expenses.
Send members needing counseling to trained professionals.
Encourage young teens to discuss sexual questions with their parents or trained professionals.
Put windows in the door to the Bishop’s office.
Allow women to make real decisions and hold a greater array of callings.
Create an environment where “doubters” can feel free to ask and discuss issues in class.
Make the message of the church be one of inclusion and not exclusion.
Allow our LGBT brothers and sisters to join with us in worship without guilt.
End the damaging message of a black and white church that is says that all other creeds are an abomination.
Allow the Bishops to truly seek after the lost sheep, not butcher them.