Call to talk to the Bishop

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Donna
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Joined: 24 Nov 2011, 20:04

Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by Donna » 12 Mar 2015, 18:08

We got our yearly call to go talk to the Bishop. He is really late this year. My husband ask why the Bishop wanted to talk to us the Ex Sec didn't know. My husband is having some serious health problems and chose not to go in and talk to the Bishop. Last years visit with the Bishop was not a positive experience. He couldn't find any thing positive to say. He got after us for not doing our calling. We didn't have a calling and then and still don't have one. My husband work Sundays because of his career. The Bishop told him he needed to be at church 3 Sundays a month. He totally didn't listen when he was told 2 Sundays is all he will be at church. My husband has work Sundays for years.
I have never seen a ward that didn't get along like this one. Everyone is in everyone business even if the don't know you. LOL
Any ideas how to set the Bishop straight and get him to listen? We haven't been very involved in our ward for years due to fact they chose not to give us calling. We are involved in a lot of social clubs and organization in the community. We tried for years to fit in our ward but have moved on to other interests.
We are both going through crisis.
I think we should be very careful what we say. We have to love by these people.

We would appreciate any advice or ideas.

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mom3
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Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by mom3 » 12 Mar 2015, 18:39

Donna - Remind me, you live in Utah/Idaho? Correct?

My first piece of advice - You don't have to meet with the Bishop if you don't want to. If you feel like the meeting will be unproductive you can kindly say, "No thanks."

However if you do have desires to try to accomplish something you should decide before you attend what it is you hope to accomplish. This doesn't guarantee you will get what you want, but it may make it easier for you to decide what to talk about.

Some things you may want to consider, Do you want to be full time, or considered full time members? What types of callings are you able to or comfortable filling? Do you want to be part time attendees? That is an option, no one can dictate how much you attend. They can decide how much to use you, but you can come once a month or every week.

It sounds like your Bishop wants a set amount of attendance. I can't change his view. You though can decide what you are at peace with, then proceed accordingly.

Most of all, I am sorry you have had such a lousy time.

We don't hear from you often. If you are lonely come by and tell us how you are doing or what you wish for, we'd love to try to help. Good luck.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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LookingHard
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Joined: 20 Oct 2014, 12:11

Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by LookingHard » 12 Mar 2015, 19:47

Just as a side note, I think the official criteria for an "active Mormon" (as in statistics that the church keeps) is attendance once per month.

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silentstruggle
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Joined: 26 Jul 2009, 07:25

Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by silentstruggle » 12 Mar 2015, 20:55

We have decided in our family that we will never again meet within the context of a bishop's office. There are too many symbols of power and domination there for us.

Usually, we don't see the need to meet with the bishop. If WE decide we are okay with it, we have him meet in our home. Even for callings for our daughter. Even for temple interviews for our daughter. You would be surprised how much this evens out the playing field.

We have the power; we just need to exercise it.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by SilentDawning » 14 Mar 2015, 14:03

Lately, I've been working off the program that the ultimate objective of our lives is to "find and preserve our inner peace".

It sounds as if these meetings with the Bishop are not a positive, peace-keeping experience. If you feel ripped on about lack of attendance, etcetera, then I wouldn't go to the meeting with the Bishop. I have done as you have done -- gotten involved in the community, and for me, that's just as good as being involved at church. You can serve humanity in a number of ways. Many are just as valid as in the church. The church isn't the only game in town -- I think we both know that. Just keep yourself active at church and connected to the extent your testimony and conscience dictates.

And remember, you are in the drivers' seat. They can't fire you, cut your benefits, or demote you. They can't foreclose on your house, or make your insurance rates go up. They can't bring you up on charges that matter before the official law unless you do in fact, break the law. Your life is your own to live, by the dictates of your own conscience.

This doesn't mean that you won't ever serve again, but it does mean that you may serve, in the future on your own terms. It sounds like your bishop is on the "church member as employee" model, and that doesn't work for many of us!

Also, yes -- Wards have a responsibilty to make sure they live the harmonious relationship values that are supposed to be the fruits of religion. I have several music groups that I form, and "sell" to clients for various music entertainment needs. The pay is low, so it's like working with volunteers. I have to be really careful that drama doesn't enter any of the groups. or they quit. If I am going to serve in an organization, I want it to be fulfilling, and not another burden -- and drama, backbiting, gossip, and all these other relationship-destroying features of an organization don't belong in organizations like the church. I know we are not perfect, but it's up to the leaders to set the example, the tone, and the culture. They have talks, 5th Sunday and a whole host of ways of teaching and training members. They need to use them.

I was in a Ward like Zion once -- the people were doers, and there was no drama. They refused to participate in gossip, and they kept the church clean and pure of the toxicity that mean people bring to a Ward. I admired them. And it activated me almost immediately.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Joined: 21 Jan 2015, 23:30
Location: SoCal

Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 14 Mar 2015, 19:24

A gentle and tactful reminder to the bishop might be in order that we are all volunteers in this organization called the church. I agree, you are in the drivers seat, make it all on your own terms.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by Roy » 15 Mar 2015, 10:04

If I were dealing with a difficult bishop I would probably make liberal use of the phrase, "I'm giving/doing as much as I can right now."

I might say something like "Bishop I see how much you and others are giving to the church and I completely admire and respect that. I know what I am contributing/doing is not up to expectations. I feel that and I am not proud of it. I also know that right now it is all that I can give. I hope that I am able to do more in the future but for right now - I am doing all I can do."

This last part does 4 things:

1) Honor and respect his position and his service. This can be much easier if you actually like your bishop, but even if you don't i believe the bishop would be less prickly if he doesn't feel challenged.
2) Acknowledge that you are not satisfied with where you are. Bishops look for contrition as a precursor to repentance. They may also feel challenged if you do not feel the need to make changes.
3) "All I can give right now" is perfect because it is so hard to argue with.
4) Keep hope alive for future change. IMO this goes hand in hand with the previous three steps. IF I honor my bishop and the structure of the priesthood, AND I feel that more is expected of me, AND right now my circumstances do not permit me to give more - THEN it stands to reason that when my circimstances change I will give more.

My goal is to participate in the LDS church as much as is healthy and balanced for me at this time in my life. My goal is to baptise my children when they come of age (even if I am not permitted to confirm, I would like to perform the baptisms). I would like to keep the door open for more participation and possibly a TR in the future.

This is how I am dealing with my church leadership at this time.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by SilentDawning » 16 Mar 2015, 08:45

I probably wouldn't to do it if in the moment with a leader, but I've often visualized coaching the leader about the need to be thankful for whatever people are willing to give. And willing sometime means less than they are capable of giving due to problems that go beyond time and other commitments. without getting into a big disclosure about commitment and faith crises.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Heber13
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Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by Heber13 » 16 Mar 2015, 09:17

mom3 wrote:My first piece of advice - You don't have to meet with the Bishop if you don't want to. If you feel like the meeting will be unproductive you can kindly say, "No thanks."
I agree with mom3. If it isn't going to be an uplifting experience, don't go.

The church is there to support families. Families don't need to be obligated or coerced to be there for the the church. The church rolls on with our without us.

So you choose what your family needs from the church.

A good, loving leader will make you feel welcome and loved and appreciated for whatever you can do.

Other leaders are trying to do what they can, but miss the point. Just wait...they rotate.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Call to talk to the Bishop

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 16 Mar 2015, 16:13

Good points, the church was made for us, not us for the church. Programs and callings are there for the members, not to be filled regardless. I'm not advocating being a taker only, give back as much if not more than is taken. Serving should not be an undue burden. Help stretch a little to grow, but there's a fine line between serving and being taken advantage of.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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