We are in a ward that is awaiting a church building. There have been several problems with a family and our bishop since he has been put into the position of bishop 3 years ago. I know we are to support our bishop, but this man is not doing his calling at all. This may sound harsh, but I will explain some things I am concerned about. This family is wonderful, they care about each other and they are always there for other people. When the bishop came into his calling, he accused my friend of being “too popular” with the members, and said they should turn to the bishop for help, not my friend. Next, my friend’s son split up with his long term girlfriend. He came home feeling suicidal, and his family was not there at the time, so he went around the corner to the bishop’s house, only to be told to “make an appointment!” This man was desperate! Next, he refused someone a temple recommend when they were doing all they could rightly to go to the temple. This lady took it hard, but she came back to church and only came back through the help of my friend. The bishop never contacted her at all, and when she came back to church, he snubbed her. She now has her recommend, after going to see him several times. Now my friend who pays his tithing, is following the commandments to the best of his ability, has today been refused his temple recommend, and so has his wife, who has not in 17 years been refused their recommends, all because the bishop does not like them. I know for a fact this is the reason. This bishop’s daughter also picks on the young son, because, and these are her words “he is from the wrong family.”
Please let me know how long this will go on. How long do we have to put up with a bishop with no thought for his ward or for other people. This bishop is a ex RAF sergeant, and that is how he acts too. My husband is an investigator, but in all the times he has gone to church, the bishop has not shaken his hand once! I used to sustain this bishop, I feel I no longer can I also feel this needs to go to a higher authority before we lose this loving family who at the moment feels very spiritually low because of this man. Please advise, this is urgent.
Jennifer, from England
I guess that I could address each of the situations that you mention, but I have a strong feeling that that is not where the problem lies. You have made several judgements and conclusions about the reason for the bishop’s actions without the slightest possibility of being in possession of all the facts. I would suggest that you may have painted yourself into a corner, so to speak, and I think that you find yourself now in a very dangerous position. Think a little on the following scriptures-
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).
My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened. Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men (D&C 64:8-10).
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same (D&C 1:38).
You have a stake presidency and a stake high council. How can you imagine that you are privy to all these unsavory actions and they are not. If you would like to have the bishop removed from office, perhaps you should also include those in authority over him who are not acting in accordance with your wishes to remove him from office.
When he was called to be the bishop, you undoubtedly raised your hand to sustain him as the bishop. You do not sustain a bishop by raising your hand when he is called. That act is only the sign or your promise to the Lord to sustain him in his office. You sustain him by supporting the decisions that he makes and by building him up in the eyes of other people, not by tearing him down. So, you are in violation of your own sacred promise, and I would suggest are in serious need of repentance!