Cool Bishop

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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mom3
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Cool Bishop

Post by mom3 » 31 Aug 2018, 20:16

My post-Mo husband had lunch with our Bishop today. They began developing a non-religious working relationship a few months ago.

They call each other by first names. My husband asked to be taken off a Ministering list. With no fanfare or fight, it was done. The conversation covered abundant diverse topics including LGBTQ, God, Bishoping, etc.

It was a total no guilt discussion. On the subject of LGBTQ our Bishop won't let anyone speak disparagingly or dismissively of members who find themselves in any of those letters. (I believe we have a couple of people in our ward who are).

On marriage counseling - it's not his job.

On church time we all need to cut back.

On being a believer - not required. Friends first. Belief second.

There is a lot that is discouraging these days. I thought a small happy spark might help. Keep your eye's and hearts open for the good guys.
"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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dande48
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Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Cool Bishop

Post by dande48 » 31 Aug 2018, 21:52

Sounds like your ward won the lottery! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
mom3 wrote:
31 Aug 2018, 20:16
On being a believer - not required. Friends first. Belief second.
Love this. Love it all.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SamBee
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Re: Cool Bishop

Post by SamBee » 01 Sep 2018, 02:48

Marriage counseling? Aren't bishops supposed to smooth troubled waters or try to?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Cool Bishop

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Sep 2018, 08:12

There are some good guys out there, I know one similar to yours. Sounds like you have a gem, thanks for sharing.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Cool Bishop

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Sep 2018, 08:19

SamBee wrote:
01 Sep 2018, 02:48
Marriage counseling? Aren't bishops supposed to smooth troubled waters or try to?
Who says? I don't think the handbook (handbook 1) actually says so. I don't think it says much about counseling. I'll ask my friend who has access.

I think that unless the bishop happens to be a trained/licensed marriage counselor he has no business do it or trying to. FWIW, a neighboring ward did once have a bishop who is a licensed counselor specializing in marriage counseling and he actually refused to do it for members of his ward, but would refer them to an associate.

I think the idea of bishop as counselor is something that has crept in from other Christian denominations where the priests/pastors are trained counselors. "Ministers" are therefore expected to counsel. I don't personally know any bishop who liked doing it. I also think our own culture of bishops/SPs/GAs giving "spiritual" counsel has bled over into the secular realm.

Were I ever to be called as bishop (very unlikely) I'd hope to be much more like Mom's bishop.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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nibbler
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Re: Cool Bishop

Post by nibbler » 01 Sep 2018, 09:20

DarkJedi wrote:
01 Sep 2018, 08:19
SamBee wrote:
01 Sep 2018, 02:48
Marriage counseling? Aren't bishops supposed to smooth troubled waters or try to?
Who says? I don't think the handbook (handbook 1) actually says so. I don't think it says much about counseling. I'll ask my friend who has access.
Handbook 1, Section 7.2. I'll try to strip out relevant portions to avoid posting the entire section.
7.2.1 General Guidelines

Stake presidents and bishops counsel stake and ward members who seek spiritual guidance, who have weighty personal problems, who have doctrinal questions, or who have committed serious transgressions. ... [snip]

[snip]

The stake president and bishop are entitled to the discernment and inspiration necessary to be spiritual advisers and temporal counselors to ward members who need such help. They should prepare spiritually before counseling a member by seeking the power of discernment and the guidance of the Spirit. This guidance usually comes as impressions, thoughts, or feelings. The Spirit often prompts leaders to remember teachings from the scriptures and from latter-day prophets.

... [snip]

If the stake president or bishop does not feel prepared to counsel a member, he schedules another appointment. Between appointments he seeks guidance through study, prayer, and, if necessary, fasting. He may also confer with his priesthood leader.
7.2.5 Marriage, Divorce, and Separation

No priesthood officer is to counsel a person whom to marry. Nor should he counsel a person to divorce his or her spouse. Those decisions must originate and remain with the individual.

When a marriage ends in divorce, or if a husband and wife separate, they should always receive counseling from Church leaders. One or both may also need Church discipline if they have committed serious transgressions in connection with the divorce or separation.

A member who is separated from his or her spouse or is going through a divorce should be counseled not to date until the divorce decree has become final according to law.
7.2.6 Professional Counseling

In addition to the inspired help of Church leaders, members may need professional counseling. In the United States and Canada, stake presidents and bishops may contact LDS Family Services to identify resources to provide such counseling in harmony with gospel principles ([contact info redacted]). Outside the United States and Canada, stake presidents may contact the Area Presidency for guidance.
You can't just have your characters announce how they feel... that makes me feel ANGRY!
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dande48
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Re: Cool Bishop

Post by dande48 » 01 Sep 2018, 10:00

7.2.1 General Guidelines
The stake president and bishop are entitled to the discernment and inspiration necessary to be spiritual advisers and temporal counselors to ward members who need such help. They should prepare spiritually before counseling a member by seeking the power of discernment and the guidance of the Spirit. This guidance usually comes as impressions, thoughts, or feelings. The Spirit often prompts leaders to remember teachings from the scriptures and from latter-day prophets.
THIS. This right here causes a lot of problems. I think this, and statements like these, make Church leaders feel like the spirit qualifies them to act in a capacity they are not qualified to do... to say whatever pops into their head and claim it as the word and will of God.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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DarkJedi
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: Cool Bishop

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Sep 2018, 10:39

dande48 wrote:
01 Sep 2018, 10:00
7.2.1 General Guidelines
The stake president and bishop are entitled to the discernment and inspiration necessary to be spiritual advisers and temporal counselors to ward members who need such help. They should prepare spiritually before counseling a member by seeking the power of discernment and the guidance of the Spirit. This guidance usually comes as impressions, thoughts, or feelings. The Spirit often prompts leaders to remember teachings from the scriptures and from latter-day prophets.
THIS. This right here causes a lot of problems. I think this, and statements like these, make Church leaders feel like the spirit qualifies them to act in a capacity they are not qualified to do... to say whatever pops into their head and claim it as the word and will of God.
Totally agree. Too much "inspiration" is nothing more than personal opinion. I honestly think the church could be sued for providing counseling by unqualified counselors. Spiritual counseling (pray more, read more scripture, do more service) is one thing, serious mental health counseling, which would include marriage counseling, is another thing entirely.

Thanks for the research, Nibbler. My friend would probably not have been as thorough.

Back to the OP, it's a good thing there are bishops like Mom's who understand this. There are probably more than we know. Unfortunately I still believe them to be in the minority even anecdotally observing my own stake.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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mom3
Posts: 3660
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Cool Bishop

Post by mom3 » 01 Sep 2018, 11:25

Back to the OP, it's a good thing there are bishops like Mom's who understand this. There are probably more than we know. Unfortunately I still believe them to be in the minority even anecdotally observing my own stake.
My husband said the very same thing to our Bishop.

We haven't always had this. The dice could have rolled a lot of different ways. Right now is a sweet spot. We are both super aware of this.
"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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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: Cool Bishop

Post by SilentDawning » 02 Sep 2018, 08:02

mom3 wrote:
31 Aug 2018, 20:16
My post-Mo husband had lunch with our Bishop today. They began developing a non-religious working relationship a few months ago.

They call each other by first names. My husband asked to be taken off a Ministering list. With no fanfare or fight, it was done. The conversation covered abundant diverse topics including LGBTQ, God, Bishoping, etc.

It was a total no guilt discussion. On the subject of LGBTQ our Bishop won't let anyone speak disparagingly or dismissively of members who find themselves in any of those letters. (I believe we have a couple of people in our ward who are).

On marriage counseling - it's not his job.

On church time we all need to cut back.

On being a believer - not required. Friends first. Belief second.

There is a lot that is discouraging these days. I thought a small happy spark might help. Keep your eye's and hearts open for the good guys.
At the risk of being cynical, I do you think the BP might have just been saying what he has to in order to keep a relationship with your husband?

I agree with what the bishop says though. I don't want ever for religion to come between my relationships with other people. Unless they cross lines of personal safety or something, or I have to avoid them for my own self-protection.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- 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."

My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1576

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