Editor: I hope readers of this blog will take these observations with the purpose they were intended — To help members in their own lives and also to help them understand some things from a Mormon Bishop’s perspective.
For those who are not LDS (Latter-day Saints) aka Mormons and read this – here is some background information at the following link about what is a Mormon Bishop, what they do, what are some of their responsibilities, etc.: Mormon Bishop. Bishops have regular full-time jobs/professions. Serving as a Bishop usually requires a weekly time commitment of 20-30 hours per week – sometimes even more than that. Usually Bishops serve several years – a very common time length is about 5 years. They are not paid by the Church or congregation so the sacrifice required and expected is very, very significant. This service is given very willingly at great personal and family sacrifice. Bishops willingly do this because of the love they have for the Lord, for the love and charity they have for Gods children and for doing what is asked. Being a Bishop can be very stressful, demanding, tiring, never-ending, etc. But it is very rewarding in the feelings you get while helping and serving others and the unique position you are in to help change peoples lives.
The following is from a talk I gave upon my release as a Bishop over a decade ago. I served for almost 5 years for a Ward (congregation) of 400+ members with average Sunday attendance of 200+.
A primary president, a high councilman, and a bishop sat on the front row of a airplane flight that, unfortunately, was hijacked. When the hijackers’ demands were refused, they threatened to shoot some passengers, starting with the first row.
The primary president promptly asked for one last wish. She wanted to sing her favorite primary song. The hijacker said that would be fine, then asked the high councilman and bishop if they also had a last wish. The high councilman requested that after the song he be allowed to stand and give the talk he had prepared to give in sacrament meeting that next Sunday.
The hijacker agreed, then turned to the bishop. The bishop motioned for the hijacker to come closer and whispered in his ear, “Please shoot me after the song.”