I've had this LDS Living article bookmarked for a while in my RSS reader and I finally got around to reading it at lunch today.
10 Ways to Support Your Bishop
I look at how much I've been supported by my Bishop (and his family) and to know if I could just do these 10 simple things, that it could possibly relieve him just a little, is that really too much to ask?
Let's take a looksie...
How often do we pray? How hard would it be to just remember to pray for our/your Bishop? This is something I'll be making sure to incorporate into mine and my family's daily prayers. It's the littlest effort but one I'm sure gives the biggest results.
2. Magnify your calling. When members anxiously go about serving as they are assigned, the Lord blesses not only them but the entire ward with an outpouring of inspiration and unity.
Okay I'm not going to lie, I've had a problem with this. I have two callings, as Relief Society Meeting Committee Member and Assistant Music Director in Primary (really the Nursery) - and is it sad that I had to go look on my LDS.org directory to get the "real" name of my Primary calling? Yes, it is. The Relief Society calling I feel great about. I have no problem making meetings and participating. The Primary/Nursery one - not so much.
But, as I type this I am making a commitment to magnify my calling. Both of them. I will make the effort as best I can. Not only for my Bishop but for myself.
3. The most difficult calling in the ward belongs to the bishop’s wife. Often times, my wife feels like the loneliest person in my ward. I am happy when my ward recognizes my wife’s (and my children’s) sacrifices.
I can't even imagine what it must be like to be a Bishop's wife. I need to remember her in my prayers not only because I consider her a great friend (no, not because she's the Bishop's wife, she's awesome!) but also because she's got a big load to haul as well and sometimes it's easy to forget that she's doing it while a lot of the time her husband is busy bearing the burden of others.
4. Earnestly prepare when asked to speak in Sacrament meeting. Teach with the Spirit.
I've only been asked to speak once in Sacrament and I prepared more for that than I did for my college entrance exam. I'm good here!
5. Never ask to be released. If circumstances change that are making it difficult for you to serve, inform your bishop and then allow him to seek inspiration. Don’t short-change yourself of heaven’s blessings because life gets a little hectic.
Oops. I admit. A while ago I did just this. I was counseled by my Bishop to give it a little while longer - and while it's been a lot longer than a little while and I haven't really done much better - I'm thinking that this council was for my own good, not for that of the calling. Because had I been released then I probably wouldn't be thinking this out right now.
6. Make temple attendance a priority. When you go to the temple often, you are able to be a more effective instrument in the Lord’s hands, and you have a greater resistance to temptation and sin. Every bishop wants his ward to be unified, charitable, obedient, and willing to sacrifice. The temple helps in all those areas.
I'm trying. This is a goal that I'm setting for myself but knowing that it helps to support my Bishop I'll make sure of it.
7. Don’t murmur or be contentious.
8. Be reverent, especially during the Sacrament.
9. Don’t just do your duty as a home or visiting teacher. Rather, truly minister to those you are called to serve. This is the first line of defense for a family, and an engaged home and visiting teacher can literally change a family’s life.
This is something I'm working on. I'm lacking in this area. Again, I need to make this a priority. I love the women that I Visiting Teach to and with.
10. Follow his counsel—even when you see things a little differently. There is power and protection in following your leaders. This isn't blind obedience, it is obedience founded on faith and trust. Those two things are very different.
This I can truly testify is true. I don't ignore my car mechanic when he advises me on my car why would I ignore my Bishop or other church leaders when they counsel on spiritual matters.
Ok people. We've got the pointers, they aren't that difficult. Let's get out there and support those that have been supporting us (because there are 100's of US and only a few of THEM!)