Looking through his older posts, Russ Hill doesn’t blog very much. Only a couple of times a year. But when he gets to posting he doesn’t mess around. In this most recent entry, Confessions of a Mormon Bishop, he gathers the most important lessons he’s learned from his service:
I have learned that we believe it is a strength to conceal weakness.
I have learned that most of us bare scars from the failure, disappointment, and fear in our lives. And, we prefer to wear long sleeves.
I have learned that the strongest among us are those with the cleanest mirrors.
He also explains, along the way, what being a Mormon bishop is about to folks who might not be familiar with the Mormon Church:
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.
Unlike Russ, I have considered that I might someday be a bishop. I sort of assume that I will for one simple reason: when you’ve got a lay clergy everyone who sticks around for a long enough time gets picked eventually. I plan on sticking around, so I’ll probably get picked. I’m a little apprehensive about that, but only a little. Some things are so far out of your league that worrying doesn’t seem appropriate to the scale of the problem. I’ve known bishops, my dad was a bishop, and it’s the hardest job in the world. So, when and if it comes, I hope God helps me out for the sake of anyone who might come to me looking for wisdom, like they go to Russ and like I’ve gone to my bishops over the years.
There’s no way I could ever do it on my own. I don’t think anyone could.
4 thoughts on “Confessions of a Mormon Bishop”
I have wondered if I would even be able to do justice to the job of Bishop. One takes on responsibility for a lot of people. But, I think you would me a good Bishop, Nathaniel. You are a level headed person.
He touched some of the darkest parts of the Mormon psyche.
One small point: Where Hill says “most of us bare scars”, I think he meant “bear” scars since he’s talking about hiding scars. The spelling reverses the meaning of the sentence.
At his site, one of his bullet points is:
“I have learned that it is far easier to deny deity than to deny desire.”
I’m trying to figure out what he meant by that – it sounds like he just wanted words that start with D. Is he saying that people need God in their lives in order to behave well?
Having a church run by term-limited amateurs seems like the best way to keep the institution grounded and avoid abuses of power. I like it.
When he says, “I have learned that it is far easier to deny deity than to deny desire.”
He is saying it is easier to “say No” to deity than to desire or to say that diety does not exist…
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