“Unto Whom Much is Given Much is Required”
Sister Stucki (Madison to me) has asked that I share
on her Blog a few of my feelings and responsibilities I have had
as a Husband, as a Father, and as a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
|Saying Goodbye at the Missionary Training Center (MTC)|
This will be my first attempt to post anything on any blog, as I do not have a blog of my own. Nor do I have my own Facebook page, Twitter Account, Instagram, Pinterest page, LinkedIn, etc…. (I know, you must be thinking that I cannot possibly qualify to even post here, huh? I do have an e-mail, and occasionally send a text now and then)…. I am learning about Hashtags#, Tweets, Tags, etc… “Yes, I’m a Newbie!”
As far as being a Husband...
“I’m the luckiest Husband on Earth”
A wonderful teaching from 1 John 4:19 -
“We love Him, because he first loved us.”
How important it is for us to learn how to ”LOVE”.
If you want something to last forever,
You treat it differently.
You SHIELD it and PROTECT it.
You never abuse it.
You don’t expose it to the elements.
You don’t make it common or ordinary.
If it ever becomes tarnished,
You lovingly polish it.
Until it gleams like new.
It becomes special
Because you have made it so,
And it grows
More beautiful and precious
As time goes by.
F. Burton Howard
General Conference April 2003
As far as being a Father...
“I’m the luckiest Father on Earth”
A wise Father (my Dad) once told me,
“When your children are small, so will be your worries and problems.
As your children grow, so will your worries and problems.”
I do worry a lot more about my children as they grow older. The choices that they will make. The Friends that they choose. What they will do for work. Where they will live. What they will become.
I love this verse found in 3 John 1:4
“I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children walk in truth.”
But what Joy I have to see my children walk in truth.
As far as being a Bishop...
I’m the ….
(uuhhmmm, I’m thinking of how to describe this one.)
I absolutely love being a member of a Ward in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (a Ward is a congregation of individuals and families which usually consists of 300-500 members) I enjoy the wonderful friendships of caring people. Loving people. People who are not perfect, but have the desire to improve on becoming a little better. A little kinder, a little more like Jesus Christ.
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ,
we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies,
that our children may know to what source they may look
for a remission of their sins.”
2 Nephi 25:26
How do I describe the responsibility of serving as a Bishop of a Ward (or Congregation) in the Church of Jesus Christ and how it has affected my life?
I am going to share with you a blog post from a member of the Church who also had the opportunity to serve as a Bishop…..
(This content originally appeared on the author's blog, Russ Hill Media.)
Confessions of a Mormon Bishop
I pulled into my driveway at 12:30 this morning.
I sat in the car in front of our dark house for a few minutes.
Everyone inside was asleep.
The whole neighborhood was still.
And yet my mind was racing.
So many questions.
So many emotions.
Welcome to the life of a Mormon Bishop.
Like pastors, priests, and clergy in other religions, those of us asked to serve as a Bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spend hours behind closed doors meeting with people who allow us into the darkest corners of their lives.
They come to us for various reasons.
Because of guilt.
Because they have lost hope.
Because they have been betrayed.
Because they don't know where else to go.
Because they feel worthless.
Because the person they are isn't the person they want to be.
Because they have questions.
Because they have doubts.
Because they believe in a forgiving God yet feel disconnected from him.
They come and sit in front of me. Some hesitate. Take a deep breath. And grasp for courage to say out loud what they have been hiding inside for days, weeks, or years.
Others almost run in.
They spill before I sit.
They're anxious to clear their conscience or announce their doubts.
Each one is different.
For hours every week I sit.
I did not ask for this opportunity.
I never considered I might someday have an office in a church.
I have no professional training for this position.
I am not a scriptural scholar.
I have not walked through vineyards with robe-wearing monks.
And, if you're wondering about vows of celibacy let me introduce you to my four kids.
All I did was answer a phone call. Show up for a meeting.
And nod when asked if I would serve.
I don't sometimes wonder why me.
I always wonder why me.
And yet they come.
Share their stories.
And look to me for wisdom.
I'm not sure any of them have learned from me.
But, I have learned so much in the hours I've sat in that office listening to them.
I have learned that we believe it is a strength to conceal weakness.
I have learned that it is easy to want others to overlook our flaws
as we expect perfection in them.
I have learned that it is hardest to show compassion and grant forgiveness
to those closest to us.
I have learned that while curiosity is a strength it can also be a curse.
I have learned that we are creatures of habit.
I have learned that faith is a muscle.
I have learned that it is far easier to deny deity than to deny desire.
I have learned the mystery surrounding death forces a consideration of spiritual matters.
I have learned that observance of the Sabbath recalibrates perspective and improves judgment.
I have learned that most of us bear scars from the failure,
disappointment, and fear in our lives.
And, we prefer to wear long sleeves.
I have learned that to deal with life's pain most of us choose one of the following: alcohol, drugs, pornography, or spirituality.
I have learned alcohol and drugs are the easiest path.
As long as you're willing to never stop drinking, smoking or swallowing.
I have learned pornography is highly addictive
and has nothing to do with sexual appetites and everything to do with escape.
And that the habit is never overcome in isolation.
I have learned that we feel like a failure when we make mistakes
even when we profess a belief that the purpose of this existence
is to make and learn from them.
I have learned that forgiveness is the greatest gift we can offer someone.
I have learned that many know about Jesus Christ
but more of us could make an effort to know him.
I have learned that the strongest among us are those with the cleanest mirrors.
I have learned that the sins of parents profoundly affect children.
And are often repeated by them.
I have learned that affection from parents profoundly affects children.
I have learned that most communication between parents and children
is what psychologists call "superficial."
Strong relationships are built on the "validating" variety.
I have learned that children desperately desire parents who listen.
I have learned that churches are not museums or catwalks for perfected saints
but rather labs for sinners.
I have learned that "tolerate" and "love" are two very different verbs
despite what popular culture professes.
I have learned that there's more sadness in this world than I had realized.
I have learned there is more goodness in this world than I had realized.
I have learned that to be happy is a choice.
I have learned those preoccupied with serving others
have less time to count their problems.
I have learned that a habit of one brief moment of spirituality a day
can alter one's entire direction.
I have learned that we want God to grant us space to make decisions
but step in to stop others, nature, mortality, or illness
from hurting us or those we love.
I have learned those who have made more mistakes have a great gift.
Now to the matter of searching out someone who hungers for it.
Indeed, I have learned I have much to learn.
The names of those I meet with will never be known.
Confidentiality demands I never disclose their stories.
But, late last night as I sat in my car on the driveway
I decided I should compile a list of what the people I meet with are teaching me.
And, I wanted to share it.
(written by Russ Hill)
I came across this talk a few years ago and I read it often.
Advice from Elder F. Enzio Busche. He says..
"I want to share with you a vehicle, an instrument,
that I developed some time ago for myself and for my family.
It can assist us to reach our focus as we reach the suggested vision
of true discipleship as a Latter-day Saint.
It helps when we, from time to time,
ponder and seek identification with the following thoughts.
Embrace this day with an enthusiastic welcome, no matter how it looks.
The covenant with God to which you are true enables you to become
enlightened by him, and nothing is impossible for you.
When you are physically sick, tired, or in despair, steer your thoughts
away from yourself and direct them, in gratitude and love, toward God.
In your life there has to be challenges.
They will either bring you closer to God
and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you.
But you make the decision of which road you take.
First and foremost, you are a spirit child of God.
If you neglect to feed your spirit, you will reap unhappiness.
Don’t permit anything to detract you from this awareness.
You cannot communicate with God unless you have first sacrificed
your self-oriented natural man and have brought yourself into the
lower levels of meekness, to become acceptable for the Light of Christ.
Put all frustrations, hurt feelings, and grumblings
into the perspective of your eternal hope.
Light will flow into your soul.
Pause to ponder the suffering Christ felt in the Garden of Gethsemane.
In the awareness of the depth of gratitude for him, you appreciate every
opportunity to show your love for him by diligently serving in his Church.
God knows that you are not perfect.
As you suffer about your imperfections he will give you comfort
and suggestions of where to improve.
God knows better than you what you need.
He always attempts to speak to you.
Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us—
everything will fall into its place.
Avoid any fear like your worst enemy,
but magnify your fear about the consequences of sin.
When you cannot love someone, look into that person’s eyes long enough
to find the hidden rudiments of the child of God in him.
Never judge anyone.
When you accept this, you will be freed.
In the case of your own children or subordinates,
where you have the responsibility to judge
help them to become their own judges.
If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you,
forgive and you will be free again.
Avoid at all cost any pessimistic, negative, or criticizing thoughts.
If you cannot cut them out, they will do you harm.
On the road to salvation let questions arise but never doubts.
If something is wrong, God will give you clarity but never doubts.
Avoid rush and haste and uncontrolled words.
Divine light develops in places of peace and quiet.
Be aware of that as you enter places of worship.
Be not so much concerned about what you do,
but what you do with all your heart, might, and strength.
In thoroughness is satisfaction.
You want to be good and do good, that is commendable,
but the greatest achievement that can be reached in our lives is to be
under the complete influence of the Holy Ghost then he will teach us
what is really good and necessary to do.
The pain of sacrifice lasts only a moment.
It is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes you hesitate to do it.
Be grateful for every opportunity to serve.
It helps you more than those you serve.
And finally, when you are compelled to give up something
or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you,
know this is your lesson to be learned right now.
But know also that as you are learning this lesson
God wants to give you something better.
Thus, we prepare all the days of our lives, and, as we grow death loses
its sting, hell loses its power, and we look forward to that day
with anticipation of joy when He will come in his glory."