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The Bishop’s Wife

A quote from someone else’s blog… Stallion Cornell to be exact.  (http://stallioncornell.com/) …

“Go to a Mormon meeting on any given Sunday, and you’ll see three dudes sitting up by the pulpit. The guy in the middle is the bishop, and he’s already spent most of the day in meetings where he reviewed the ward’s staffing needs and organizing relief efforts for families who may be struggling with health, financial, or spiritual issues. He’s also been meeting one-on-one with members of the church who look to him for counsel and support for personal problems that would turn your hair white. Usually, he’s been doing all this since before the sun came up, so don’t be surprised if he nods off while the meeting progresses.

Please keep in mind, too, that there are no elections for bishops and stake presidents, nor are there reelections. Each leader is “called” to serve, and they accept the responsibility dutifully, no questions asked. They then serve for a period of time, usually between five and ten years, after which they are “released,” meaning they rejoin their congregations as lay members and have no more responsibility than anyone else”

I’d like to add that these good men serve (as do most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) without pay.

Last week, I helped my husband organize a small meeting dedicated to the women who are the wives of these men.  Not only do these men sacrifice much of their personal lives in order to serve the Lord, their wives, by necessity, have had their lives compromised as well.  They surrender a large part of their husband’s time to others while their own families learn to manage without having him at home.

Phone calls in the middle of the night are not uncommon.  On Sundays, Dad does not usually get to sit with the family.  A crisis in the ward can interrupt family vacations.  A child may see Dad have to leave in the middle of their piano recital or a soccer game.

No, being part of a family where Dad is a member of a bishopric is not without some sacrifice for every member.  Some people criticize these men saying they have their priorities wrong, but I think they are an example of commitment that their children will, with a little help, learn to respect as an anomaly in our society… a vanishing breed of men (and women) who know that sacrifice and service must be taught by example.

In preparing for this special meeting, we wrote a poem that we dedicated to the wives of these bishops.  We recognized that their contributions were just as important to the work in Christ’s church as were their husband’s.

The Bishop’s Wife

I cannot see how this is right, I thought as I pulled my jacket tight.

We barely have an evening free, when he can be alone with me.

How can I give away that hour?  It’s I who needs his priesthood power.

But smile I did and made a plan how I’d attempt to help my man.

I knew that I should give a part of all I felt within my heart.

At first, it did not seem too bad. My children prayed, “please bless our Dad.”

I read a lot and hemmed a dress. I learned to play my son at chess.

But loneliness became routine. I made all decisions by myself, it seemed.

And when I needed time alone, my sister was the one I phoned.

One night my sister came to stay, watching the children for my ‘get-away.’

And though I could have fair escaped, I parked outside the church front gate.

A ghost to see what’s in this place, I walked dark halls just to see his face.

But then, instead…a man and wife. They stand outside.  They’re filled with strife.

He holds the door as she walks in. The tears are running down her chin.

She says “…I don’t love you anymore. That’s what we have divorces for.”

I know I should go, but instead I wait. They go inside with my own sweet mate.

Please let him say some words just right. Help them rid their hearts of spite.

But while I think how hurt they are, the headlights of still another car.

It’s James who has his parents too. Last Sunday he talked about what he knew was true.

And now he’ll be leaving for Japan. He’s finally making good his plan

To serve the world and share the truth; the things he’s learned while yet a youth.

And one by one, my ward family dear, come to him for words of cheer,

Or blessings that only he should give, as worthily he tries to live.

I go back home.  My heart can see that he belongs not just to me.

But I was blessed to have his love, by Father who is up above.

Please let him lead me to Heaven’s door, by learning how to give up more.

And look upon this wedding ring, that I will yet reign as his queen.

-By Bill and Diane Nelson

 

 

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