Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

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græy
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Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by græy » Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:29 pm

I've been putting this off. The last episode detailing the ordeals of being a non-believing bishop was in early September. Our bishopric hit the 6 month mark in mid October, and here we are now in December. So I guess I've really got 7 1/2 months down. That's so much easier! /s

Youth Activities

These are going a bit better. The youth plan the activities. That is, they put them on the schedule. We've learned through sad experience that most of them won't do any actual planning and will often fall through without significant input from the leaders. Two of our Aaronic priesthood advisors are marginally active at best and don't really contribute other than occasionally attending Sunday meetings. That leaves us in the bishopric trying to handle Sunday lessons and Wednesday activities. Its like a never-ending meat grinder. As soon as one activity or lesson ends, you think you have room to breathe, but the next is only two days away so don't breathe too much! Even my super ultra TBM wants-to-be-bishop counselor has expressed exhaustion at the non-stop nature of this dual bishopric/YM calling. I don't see this continuing on indefinitely. Bishoprics have to be burning out. Of course, our ward is very small. (The only complete presidency in our ward is the RS presidency. All others are without secretaries, without counselors, or in the case of the SS, only have one single counselor.) Maybe other wards have it easier with active and dedicated YM advisors with extra "specialists" to render further assistance. In our case, its just us three.

Division Amongst the Flock

Our ward (like many others, probably) is VERY divided on a lot of things. COVID? A quarter say its not even real, a quarter says it will kill us all, the rest just sit quietly with popcorn watching them duke it out. Unfortunately for me the duking often comes to my door or phone in the form of "so and so won't wear a mask." or "I'm just so sad Nelson said to get vaccinated. It must be a test." I have started ignoring them all because I've been down that road with each of them and it doesn't go anywhere.

In an effort to try and understand what we could possibly do to heal the division and help members feel supported the EQ sent out a survey. Ward members were asked to rate for themselves how comfortable they felt at church, how well the lessons were going for them, how effective the activities were for the youth, whether or not they had friends in the ward, etc.

What did we learn? You can't do anything without pissing off at least 1/3 of the members. For example, three members commented how much they love the new youth program because it gives them freedom to explore new hobbies and try new things as a group. Simultaneously another three members commented that they felt the new youth program didn't provide enough structure or guidance in teaching the "important things of eternity". A few people said the Come Follow Me lessons were boring and not at all spiritually fulfilling. A few others gushed about how great CFM is for teaching us the "full" history of the church. :roll: In the end, we didn't change anything as a result of the survey. Maybe I just lack bishop-ly vision, maybe I'm already getting worn out and don't really care.

Why Do I Even Try

Several members of the ward have expressed to me their frustration at trying to wrestle families, fulfill callings, and feel like they're progressing on their own spiritual path. Some of those conversations included not one, but two RS counselors, a prior YW president, and the current primary president. They all work hard for their callings, but all expressed that they rarely feel the spirit. Most of them blamed this failure on the fact that they are constantly fighting with their children to come to church/seminary, or just overwhelmed by packed and sometimes conflicting schedules.

I genuinely hurt for them and wish I could alleviate some of their frustration by letting them know that none of it actually matters. But that usually seems like the wrong message in the face of a hurting TBM.

In one case the poor lady asked for a list of therapists in the area, which I gave her. I really think she's trying to stave off full-blown depression. But her TBM husband argued that all she really needs is the atonement. In his words, a therapist won't be able to help nearly so much as God. He was completely deaf to her pleas that God simply hasn't been answering her for years and she needs to try something new.

Adulting

I am blown away and dumb-founded at the sheer number of grown-ups who have no idea how to do adult things. There are at least three families we have been working with for several months now. In those months we have been paying a significant portion of their bills, I'm very happy to help out where needed - the church can obviously afford it. However, we are supposed to track some degree of progress. Progress can really be anything, it doesn't have to be large, but it does have to be measurable. Can't afford rent because you don't know how to budget? Fine. We'll pay rent this month and spend the next two weeks learning how to budget. And yet, 5 months later, few of these families have been able to follow through on commitments to track expenses for even two weeks. They just can't seem to do it.

One lady is a refugee from Africa. She lost her green card and has struggled to find a place to live (no ID does make that difficult). I happen to know an immigration lawyer. The lawyer pointed us in the right direction to get the forms for her to file for her replacement green card. They aren't even all that hard to fill out. There is a small fee which I offered to cover for her. Since then, she has managed to find a part-time job and another family from the ward has taken her in, but after SIX months she still has not filled out the paperwork for her green card. I have found people who were willing to walk her through the forms in case it was a language barrier, all she had to do was text them. But SIX months later that still has not happened.

I am happy to be generous, to err on the side of compassion. As I said, the church can afford it. But at this point, I'm starting to feel taken advantage of, and I'm ready to let people feel the consequences of inaction.

Tithing Settlement

I hate it. I try to make it clear that I don't want these things to feel like a shakedown. I try to frame it as a time for them to check records and let us know if we've screwed up and nothing more than that. I also make it a point to tell families that I don't look at their tithing reports. How they declare themselves is entirely between them and God. I'm surprised at the pushback I get on that simple point. "Oh, but bishop we also have to teach our kids that 10% is a commandment and we are responsible to you and to God to pay it." No, you don't owe me anything be it money or explanation. If you feel guilty about not paying and need to unload tell me about it, I'll reassure you that God cares at all he'll love you regardless of whether you paid on gross, net, or just gave $20 to the local alcohol recovery center.

I absolutely refuse to spend any more of my time chasing down people who don't proactively sign up for settlement. I'll check the box however and move on. They're happier and I'm happier to have one less thing to do at Christmas.

Special "Privileges"

This weekend (Dec 4) there is a multi-stake (9 of them) leadership training. All ward council members (minus clerks and secretaries) are invited to come listen to a member of the Q15 at our local stake center. Following the meeting, the mission president, temple president, stake presidencies (including counselors) and bishops (but no counselors) are invited to a special smaller meeting with the same Q15 dude.

We have been instructed to come prepared with "inspired questions." But! These questions can't be on topics that might actually be helpful or inspire sincere discussion. No, these questions should "pertain to how leaders can live and teach the principles ... taught in the recent general conference." Very strong vibes of "You're free to ask questions! Here is the list of approved questions."

Roughly 5 years ago a similar conference was held in a nearby stake. Our bishop at the time was out of the country four business and asked me to go in his place. I was the only bishopric counselor in attendance. Everyone else was either a stake president, SP counselor, or BP. They all had blue name tags, every one of them. I had a yellow name tag, the only one in the building that I saw.

At that time I was still early in my faith crisis and had very high hopes of hearing something, anything, that could help me understand. I arrived a full hour early to prepare by reading scriptures and praying. During the meeting I took furious notes. One brave bishop asked the golden question. "How do we help members who have concerns or are leaving over historical concerns?" Elder Renlund, in his intimate knowledge of the Savior and the restoration of the gospel (TM) answered with much resolve, "Brethren, we have not been deceived." And that was it. That was as close as I got to an answer to my dark night of the soul.

Needless to say, I am not excited about this coming weekend. I'm annoyed that I now have to give up a Saturday in addition to my recent 9-12 hour Sundays (bleeping tithing settlement).

Mrs Græy

When I first made the decision to be called as bishop Mrs Græy was all over the place. "This is from God, you'll help people!" "This can't be from God. You don't even believe." I honestly don't know where she's at now. She never wants to talk about it. If anything, when this is all said and done, no matter how it ends, I can honestly say I tried. I've put in the time studying, searching, looking for answers. If the answer can only be found in prayer, I've sacrificed my time and put in the effort to be in a position to get that answer. The fault either lies with the church, or with God, probably both.

Other

There's probably a lot I'm missing. I'll add on to this post as I think of things.
Well, I'm better than dirt! Ah, well... most kinds of dirt; not that fancy store-bought dirt; that stuff is loaded with nutrients. I can't compete with that stuff. -Moe Sizlack

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Red Ryder
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Dec 01, 2021 6:49 pm

Bishop Graey,

Please consider this note my tithing settlement by proxy since I haven’t attended my own ward’s settlement. I’m ashamed to say I did not pay anything this year.

You’re report sounds extremely familiar from the TBM’s in my life with similar leadership callings. It’s a grind at best that is wearing them out.

RSP SIL has had constant conflict in her society chapter after a younger sister blew up a lesson with comments the older sisters were offended by. After a few weeks, it escalated to 3 sisters walking out in subsequent lessons. The family history guy just keeps sticking his foot in his mouth pushing the family history as the most important thing on earth at the moment.

Then there is the ward Christmas party fiasco and infighting due to whether or not Santa should be making an appearance. The ultra TBM think Santa should not attend the ward party. The social happy people can’t understand a Christmas party without Santa. Silly, right?

Perhaps it’s time to turn the dial down a bit. Force yourself to cut your Sunday time in half. Let the members lead themselves through the effortless motions of the LDS Inc hamster wheel.

Perhaps you can implement a few experiments by pulling in the strong members and convince them to marry other members wives. Spiritual swapping of sorts. Create so much disarray that the whole congregation implodes leaving you and Mrs. Graey as the last two normal people standing. Then see if the Q15 will send someone to rescue.

Keep up the fight! Consider your mental health over those that can’t fill out forms or hold down jobs, or can’t find canned beans at the local grocery store.
“I switched baristas” —Lady Gaga

Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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moksha
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by moksha » Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:01 pm

Bishop Græy, wishing you the best and sending you power vibes through the monitor to help you cope with Settlement Saturday. If you had a Nerf basketball hoop in your office you could challenge each settler to a best five out of five.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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2bizE
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by 2bizE » Wed Dec 01, 2021 8:40 pm

Thank you for the detailed report. It is always good to hear of how dependent people are on the church. When the church killed BSA and fired all of the young men leaders, leaving the bishop responsible for all of it, I knew it would be problematic. As a kid, I wanted to be part of the decisions on which activities to be involved with, but didn’t want to do the planning. Just show up and have fun.
I fall into the camp of those who have not felt the spirit or found any interest in church meetings in years. Covid has been amazing as far as improving my boredom and anxiety. I spent very little time of the come follow me program because frankly it looked like the work of amateurs. The church talks about milk before meat. CFM is thinner than water. Terribly uninteresting to me.
Keep spending the big money on members. Maybe create a fake member who is on welfare to fund food for many social gatherings.
I really get the feeling from your comments that you are feeling the effects of the church sucking everything fun out of the church.
~2bizE

hmb
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by hmb » Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:54 am

I have to admit that there was a time when I would have wanted my tithing report to be noted. I paid and I wanted it known that I sacrificed!!! I suspect that those who push back on you not reading their tithing reports probably paid in full and want you to know it. My eyes can't roll back far enough now. So embarrassing to remember.


Can't you send the councilor (bishop wanna-be) to your Saturday event? Can't he wear the yellow tag?

I have to say that reading your updates helps me appreciate my life more. Some days I'm so depressed it's hard to get dressed and stay up. Being reminded that I only have to deal with TBM stuff on occasion is a good reminder to get over myself.

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Advocate
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Advocate » Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:00 am

Thanks for the update. Your report verifies that things are similar all over. I'm in the SE USA and see a lot of the same things.

Youth Activities

The decision to get rid of young men presidencies has to be among the most uninspired, prideful decisions I have ever seen. It's uninspired because young men programs are failing everywhere. Bishoprics have too much to do and instead of giving them extra help, the prophet decided to take away help. Other brethren that are called to young men callings (e.g. young men specialist or advisor) feel no ownership because they aren't a leader so they don't do much without being told what to do, in the best case scenario; worst case scenario and very common is they do little or nothing. The decision was prideful because the prophet thought he could change mormon culture just by saying it should change. It doesn't work that way. Despite condescending talks from general conference telling bishops they should offload everything, they can't because others won't take on the burden and most bishops feels like the buck stops with them.

I'm a bishopric counselor and I feel terrible for how crappy our young mens program is. I'd like to make it better for the boys, but I don't have the bandwidth to do it and there is little support from other adults. So the program continues to suck.

Division Amongst the Flock

My favorite are the members who say that masks make it so they can't feel the spirit. The only time I see masks at church are during sacrament meeting when maybe 1/3 of the congregation and the bishopric wears them. After sacrament meeting and during the week next to nobody (this includes the bishopric) wears them.

Interesting insight. Masks are required to attend the temple. Anyone who is endowed has covenanted to give everything they have, even their life if necessary, to the church. Yet we have members that refuse to attend the temple because they will not wear a mask. Goes to show how shallow many people's faith is.

Tithing settlement

I feel really bad for you on this. I have to count tithing and I feel that is stupid and a waste of time. Trying to convince people to come to tithing settlement when anyone can see their donations online is beyond stupid. Of course, we all know the church cares more about money than anything else (what other commandments do they have a special interview for?) and they hope to guilt trip people into paying, so I don't expect this to go away anytime soon.

The Mrs

I'm guessing your wife will become more nuanced as she sees how the sausage is made. I don't discuss any church historical issues with my wife, and yet she has really opened her eyes to how uninspired most/all of the church is.

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Hagoth
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Hagoth » Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:14 am

We love you, man. Hang in there. I will make a sacrifice to the FSM on your behalf and call in your name to the temple on the far side of the moon.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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wtfluff
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by wtfluff » Thu Dec 02, 2021 9:10 am

I Stand All Amazed... That you can actually do the bishop thing Graey-Bispo.

The only, lame, Fluffy advice I have is: Do what you gotta do, but take care of yourself and your family above all.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

The Beauty of Gray

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Corsair
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Corsair » Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:11 pm

græy wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:29 pm
I've been putting this off. The last episode detailing the ordeals of being a non-believing bishop was in early September. Our bishopric hit the 6 month mark in mid October, and here we are now in December. So I guess I've really got 7 1/2 months down. That's so much easier! /s
græy,

Thank you for your update. I was called as a ward clerk and I spend my time trying to make things easier for my TBM bishop who has a lot of compassion for people in the ward. By the power invested in me as ward clerk who is not in your ward I authorize you to just mark down the rest of the ward based on what you imagine their tithing status to actually be and then enjoy your Christmas. Then have a short church meeting on both December 19 and 26.

I admit I'm interested in your upcoming meeting with the Q15. I would take your place if that were possible. Good luck slipping in some actually inspired question that some person in a faith crisis is actually bothered about.

Now that you have your bishop memoirs started you will be able to publish a book about it in 2026 and you could be a guest on Mormon Stories if that interests you. Sunstone would love to have you appear and give a presentation. If you ever find yourself in the Phoenix area let Red Ryder or me know and we would love to take you to lunch.

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Emower
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Emower » Thu Dec 02, 2021 5:41 pm

Corsair wrote:
Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:11 pm
græy wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:29 pm
I've been putting this off. The last episode detailing the ordeals of being a non-believing bishop was in early September. Our bishopric hit the 6 month mark in mid October, and here we are now in December. So I guess I've really got 7 1/2 months down. That's so much easier! /s
Now that you have your bishop memoirs started you will be able to publish a book about it in 2026 and you could be a guest on Mormon Stories if that interests you.

But only if you have an extra 8 hours laying around. Honestly though, to get through stories like you are going to have it might take that long.

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wtfluff
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by wtfluff » Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:11 pm

Corsair wrote:
Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:11 pm
græy wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:29 pm
I've been putting this off. The last episode detailing the ordeals of being a non-believing bishop was in early September. Our bishopric hit the 6 month mark in mid October, and here we are now in December. So I guess I've really got 7 1/2 months down. That's so much easier! /s
græy,

Thank you for your update. I was called as a ward clerk and I spend my time trying to make things easier for my TBM bishop who has a lot of compassion for people in the ward. By the power invested in me as ward clerk who is not in your ward I authorize you to just mark down the rest of the ward based on what you imagine their tithing status to actually be and then enjoy your Christmas. Then have a short church meeting on both December 19 and 26.
So... A silly, Fluffy thought: What if Graey-Bispo just marked everyone in his ward as full tithe payers? Would anyone "important" at HQ notice and bring down the hammer? Or does the Presidente of Steaks have to approve? (If I remember my clerking days, that report went directly to HQ.)

Same with shortened meetings: Would anyone at HQ notice?
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

The Beauty of Gray

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deacon blues
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by deacon blues » Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:31 pm

græy wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:29 pm



In an effort to try and understand what we could possibly do to heal the division and help members feel supported the EQ sent out a survey. Ward members were asked to rate for themselves how comfortable they felt at church, how well the lessons were going for them, how effective the activities were for the youth, whether or not they had friends in the ward, etc.

What did we learn? You can't do anything without pissing off at least 1/3 of the members.

I am happy to be generous, to err on the side of compassion. As I said, the church can afford it. But at this point, I'm starting to feel taken advantage of, and I'm ready to let people feel the consequences of inaction.

Special "Privileges"

This weekend (Dec 4) there is a multi-stake (9 of them) leadership training. All ward council members (minus clerks and secretaries) are invited to come listen to a member of the Q15 at our local stake center. Following the meeting, the mission president, temple president, stake presidencies (including counselors) and bishops (but no counselors) are invited to a special smaller meeting with the same Q15 dude.

We have been instructed to come prepared with "inspired questions." But! These questions can't be on topics that might actually be helpful or inspire sincere discussion. No, these questions should "pertain to how leaders can live and teach the principles ... taught in the recent general conference." Very strong vibes of "You're free to ask questions! Here is the list of approved questions."

At that time I was still early in my faith crisis and had very high hopes of hearing something, anything, that could help me understand. I arrived a full hour early to prepare by reading scriptures and praying. During the meeting I took furious notes. One brave bishop asked the golden question. "How do we help members who have concerns or are leaving over historical concerns?" Elder Renlund, in his intimate knowledge of the Savior and the restoration of the gospel (TM) answered with much resolve, "Brethren, we have not been deceived." And that was it. That was as close as I got to an answer to my dark night of the soul.

When I first made the decision to be called as bishop Mrs Græy was all over the place. "This is from God, you'll help people!" "This can't be from God. You don't even believe." I honestly don't know where she's at now. She never wants to talk about it. If anything, when this is all said and done, no matter how it ends, I can honestly say I tried. I've put in the time studying, searching, looking for answers. If the answer can only be found in prayer, I've sacrificed my time and put in the effort to be in a position to get that answer. The fault either lies with the church, or with God, probably both.

This is fascinating. I would submit that the fault lies with those who think and/or act like God and the Church are the same thing. I don't think they are. ;)
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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Angel
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Angel » Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:32 pm

græy wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:29 pm
... I can honestly say I tried. I've put in the time studying, searching, looking for answers. If the answer can only be found in prayer, I've sacrificed my time and put in the effort to be in a position to get that answer....
,
if you hang out in the barbershop long enough, you will eventually get a haircut...

"What you resist, persists. What you embrace dissolves." - Carl Jung

The God of darkness...

Exodus 20:18-21 ... Moses approached the thick darkness where God was....
Psalm 97:2... Clouds and thick darkness are all around God....
1 Kings 8:10-12.... the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud

Isaiah 45:3.... treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places....

the deep dazzling darkness....

It has been a challenging few months for all. As a teacher there is some overlap - I have sent some students to therapists, I try to get people to do things they do not really want to do... I have meetings with people from other schools... I work long hours for a "noble" cause. There are dark clouds, but there are silver linings too. Would be good to hear about some of the silver linings in your reports græy.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

hmb
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by hmb » Fri Dec 03, 2021 7:25 am

Advocate wrote:
Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:00 am

Other brethren that are called to young men callings (e.g. young men specialist or advisor) feel no ownership because they aren't a leader so they don't do much without being told what to do, in the best case scenario; worst case scenario and very common is they do little or nothing.
Welcome to "leadership" roles of womenz in the church. Some man has to approve anything they want to do. A little off your point, but I needed to point it out.

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Mormorrisey » Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:01 am

Always great to hear your reports, bishop. It's amazing how you have the time, given the time of year. I hate tithing settlement.

Two things stood out to me. Your special privileges section - you're so right, there are no good answers. Just the same regurgitated crap that you hear in conference, which has been similarly watered down to an infantile level. It's just a DRAIN when you're already busy, and you get no practical, good advice to the problems you're dealing with. Feel for you, man. I remember some years ago I was invited to a "special" fireside with a Q15 to reactivate the spark I'm sure, and halfway through I just realized this was an old guy just droning on. It wasn't special, it wasn't particularly inspired, it was just some old dude's reminiscing about his life. That was it.

Given that I live in Canada, it's been very different the covid response I have experienced than what I've read here and in other sites. Where I live, everybody is required to wear masks, nobody can vote for Trump OR Biden, and while the political spectrum is as very wide, it tends not to show up at church too much. So I feel very fortunate, but some of my kids who live in the states go through this. But, you are right. You will never please everybody. I did a survey once about when to have ward temple night, and I realized whatever night we picked, not everybody would go. So we just picked a night, and that was that. So I think you are wise, Græy, to not worry about it overly. Nothing you can do. The only way you can have unity is to FORCE unity, and then where are you? It's just a fool's errand. Do your best and let it ride.

I have to admit, every time I read your reports, all I can think is, "God, I hope he can handle the bullcrap." Your frustrations are real, and just make sure your own mental and emotional health doesn't suffer for all of this! I think we all would wish that for you, so just take care.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

Wonderment
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by Wonderment » Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:46 pm

Bishop graey, Thank you for the update as you navigate through all these issues and challenges. You really are doing an amazing job working under very stressful conditions. Just getting through the day to day grind of it all is a success all by itself. I hope that soon, Sister Graey will speak up and show support for the incredible job you are doing. Thanks again for sending this update, as it's fascinating to read. Best wishes to you, from Wndr.

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MoPag
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by MoPag » Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:54 pm

Greay!!! You are amazing!! You are doing great things!
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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stealthbishop
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:32 am

Thanks for your report to the NOM High Council Bishop! It is a great window into the functioning of a ward in 2021. I know firsthand how hard this is and I'm glad you're getting the support from NOM. Good vibes to you.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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græy
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by græy » Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:53 am

Angel wrote:
Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:32 pm
It has been a challenging few months for all. As a teacher there is some overlap - I have sent some students to therapists, I try to get people to do things they do not really want to do... I have meetings with people from other schools... I work long hours for a "noble" cause. There are dark clouds, but there are silver linings too. Would be good to hear about some of the silver linings in your reports græy.
Thank you for this, Angel. There are silver linings. I've largely been using NOM to blow off steam when the pressure builds so its a lot of the negative that comes out. But you're right, there are silver linings too.

Youth activities are sometimes pretty fun! A few weeks ago we met at a school track field and did javelin throws, long jumps, and a bunch of other events. I was in my suit but participated in all of it anyway right along with the YM, and it was a blast. We also had a campout with zero scouting requirements thrown in. Campfire songs, tents/hammocks, and fishing for anyone who wanted to go. Those that didn't want to fish played capture the flag. It was really a lot of fun for everyone.

I also enjoy helping where real help is needed. Getting food to families who otherwise have none. Arranging Christmas donations for the kids in the those same families, etc.

Even having 1 on 1 chats with some of the older (75+) single sisters of our ward has been very rewarding. I'm surprised how much self-doubt, regret, and guilt many of them are carrying over decisions or circumstances that were really beyond their control. I do my best to tell them that they don't need to feel guilty over anything. That God loves them, accepts them, and they are entitled to feel that love from God and from themselves. And that in the meantime, if they don't feel it, then the rest of us will love them until they do. A few times I've gotten messages a day or two later, letting me know that the conversations have made a difference. I personally don't think my "title" as bishop means anything, but from their perspective hearing something like that from someone in "authority" does mean something. And if I can do that for them, I will.
Well, I'm better than dirt! Ah, well... most kinds of dirt; not that fancy store-bought dirt; that stuff is loaded with nutrients. I can't compete with that stuff. -Moe Sizlack

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græy
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Re: Seven Months Down. 53 To Go.

Post by græy » Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:56 am

Corsair wrote:
Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:11 pm
I admit I'm interested in your upcoming meeting with the Q15. I would take your place if that were possible. Good luck slipping in some actually inspired question that some person in a faith crisis is actually bothered about.
Mormorrisey wrote:
Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:01 am
Two things stood out to me. Your special privileges section - you're so right, there are no good answers. Just the same regurgitated crap that you hear in conference, which has been similarly watered down to an infantile level. It's just a DRAIN when you're already busy, and you get no practical, good advice to the problems you're dealing with. Feel for you, man. I remember some years ago I was invited to a "special" fireside with a Q15 to reactivate the spark I'm sure, and halfway through I just realized this was an old guy just droning on. It wasn't special, it wasn't particularly inspired, it was just some old dude's reminiscing about his life. That was it.
Yup, I'll have to start another thread about this conference, but "big old nothing-burger" is a pretty good description.
Well, I'm better than dirt! Ah, well... most kinds of dirt; not that fancy store-bought dirt; that stuff is loaded with nutrients. I can't compete with that stuff. -Moe Sizlack

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