Stephen MarshMormon 12 Comments

I have been thinking of a friend’s sister recently.  She methodically broke every chair, save one, in her parent’s house.  She was very large, felt entitled to (a) sit in unbroken chairs and (b) not sit in the reinforced “fat” chair.  So, without any malice, but in accord with her feelings of entitlement and self fulfillment, she broke all the furniture, without apologies.

Too often it seems that we do something similar, in search of our own fulfillment (as we define it).  We not only fail to endure well, we do not endure at all.

Think about that the next time you feel a need to be publicly critical.  What are you really doing?

That said, you be the bishop.

You have a BYU ward and your counselors have not gotten things off to a good start.  The get together “meet the bishop” home evenings flopped.  No refreshments, no lessons, no active socializing by those in charge and the kids did not fill the gap on their own initiative.

Now, the older sister assigned to help out and provide shadow leadership for the Relief Society just finished a psychotic rant.  She took over the meeting and told the girls that merely dressing in accord with the BYU standards and honor code meant they were shameless sluts who could expect to be sexually harassed and assaulted as a result, and when that happened, it would be their fault, not the fault of the boys involved.

When one of the girls disagreed with her, the sister called her an apostate and when the girl quoted prophets and apostles, the older lady silenced her by screaming over her with the comment that the girl was a lying child of hell.

So, what do you do?

  • Nothing.  It is a BYU ward, better just ignore this just like you ignore everything else until the kids change apartments and get into a different ward.
  • Nothing, it is a Relief Society matter and they will work it out.
  • Nothing, the sister is really right and the honor code is an inadequate sham for the morally lax.
  • Nothing, ignore it and it will go away.
  • Ask for advice on the internet.  Then disagree with whatever advice you get.

Seriously, if you encountered that bishop, what advice would you give him, other than telling him how to break a few more chairs?

Comments 12

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  2. FHE: Give the counselors clear assignments and follow up for the first few months to make sure they are being completed. If that also flops, think about arranging Linger Longers to fill the social gap.

    RS: Remove the adviser ASAP, because she is psychotic.

  3. I think E.D. gave excellent advice. I think it’s particularly important that the adviser be released because leaving her in her calling would amount to tacit acceptance of how she behaved.

  4. I like E.D.’s advice… I would go with that. If the sister gets angry then refur her to Elder Uchtdorf’s talk. 🙂

  5. Bored, I was visiting out in Utah and took my daughter and friends out to dinner and listened to one of the friends talk about what was going on in her ward. My daughter only indicated she was grateful that it wasn’t her ward.

    About Uchtdorf, on the one hand, he seems to be speaking all the time. On the other hand, I really enjoy him. I’m conflicted a bit.

    We talk alot about what is and what should be, but sometimes the way to get from the one to the other seems difficult.

    Anyway, I’ve been wanting to try doing a “you be the bishop” thread and this is the one I wrote up in March and finally found an opening in the calendar I could post it on.

    Too bad I’m not actually able to send this to the bishop for him to think about.

    on the other hand, this was a really good general conference. One of the best I remember.

  6. An employees failure to follow through with directive is generally a communication error on the part of the leader or the, rather than direct insubordination. I would expect the same is true with Church leadership as well. The Bishop should meet with his advisors in order to understand any potential miscommunication. He should also try and discover whether his request was above the the experience or capabilities of his counsellors. If his expectations were just not clear he should work on better communication understanding his counsellors communication styles. If his request was above their expertise or current capabilities he should determine whether this is a situation that can be improved with proper training, or whether he has inadvertantly placed his counsellors in a position for failure (the rare case I think, but I have certainly seen it). He should then implement training or issue a release.

    Regarding the RS society fanatic, he should try and understand her frame of mind. If she is really “nuts” a polite thank you and a release would suffice. If she is “stable” I think the D&C has a section that suggests “he who offends in public shall be rebuked in public, whereas he who offends in private shall be rebuked in private”. I don’t see this practiced in Church much, but actually see it as good policy. Sometimes in an effort to protect the offenders sensitivities, we do so at the expense of the offended.

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  8. I’d release the RS teacher.

    BTW, nice line about asking for advice on the internet and disagreeing with all of the input you get. That was hilarious.

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