Remember yesterday I had a big announcement to make? Well for the next 6-8 years I will be a bishop’s widow. Mr. Ferrero Rocher was sustained and set apart to be the bishop of our ward on Sunday. For those not familiar with my LDS faith, a bishop is similar to a pastor or minister. He will be responsible for our congregation – leading, teaching, guiding, counseling. We believe in a lay ministry which means no one is paid for their work in our church. It is all done voluntarily.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, our late prophet who died earlier this year, describes the responsibility of bishops this way, “We have more than 18,000 bishops in the Church. Every one is a man who has been called by the spirit of prophecy and revelation and set apart and ordained by the laying on of hands. Every one of them holds the keys of the presidency of his ward. Each is a high priest, the presiding high priest of his ward. Each carries tremendous responsibilities of stewardship. Each stands as a father to his people.
“None receives money for his service. No ward bishop is compensated by the Church for his work as a bishop.
“The requirements of a bishop today are as they were in the days of Paul, who wrote to Timothy:
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
“Not given to wine, no striker [that is, not a bully or a violent person], … not a brawler, not covetous;
“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
“(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
“Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:2–6).
“In his letter to Titus, Paul adds that “a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; …
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:7, 9).
“Those words aptly describe a bishop today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Let me now speak directly to the thousands of bishops who are in attendance tonight. Let me say first that I love you for your integrity and goodness. You must be men of integrity. You must stand as examples to the congregations over which you preside. You must stand on higher ground so that you can lift others. You must be absolutely honest, for you handle the funds of the Lord, the tithes of the people, the offerings that come of their fasting, and the contributions which they make from their own strained resources. How great is your trust as the keepers of the purse of the Lord!
We feel a little overwhelmed by the trust the Lord has shown in calling Mr. FR to this position. I know he will do his best because he is really a very humble man who will rely wholly on the Lord to guide him.
This calling also requires sacrifice from our whole family. Mr. FR will be gone a lot because of his responsibilities. It means we have to figure out the best uses of our time with our family so the children don’t feel neglected by him in anyway. Right now I’m especially grateful for our farming, homeschooling lifestyle because we get to spend a lot of time with one another during the day, more than most families get to. I also have to figure out how to reverently sit through Sacrament Meeting with seven children. It would be my luck that Special Dark realized just this past Sunday that it’s fun to crawl under the pews. Anyone have any suggestions for keeping
children little boys reverent during an hour long meeting? I’m not too worried about the girls. They are usually very well behaved but this little guy has me worried!