Thursday, December 01, 2011

I read blogs to keep in touch with friends and families, especially those who don't call to chat or live too far away.  But thanks to Jocelyn's blog, I met and marvel with MMM and have his link over there to the right, see it?.  I hope he doesn't mind but I am going to copy today's blog entry to my blog...mainly because it's exactly how I feel and I so wish everyone could read these thoughts.  Maybe I'll pin it...FB it...send it everywhere I can.  It's how I taught my children to respect the office of bishop (oh and yes, it's a religious entry so if you aren't into religion pass this by....or check in and see what I believe).  MMM is very articulate and very funny.  I look forward to reading his comments every day.

Please Stop Saying That: It's Bishop, Thank You.

• This is the fifth of a series of things that we hear at church on a regular basis that I wish people would stop saying. They are not big, honkin', scary things, just little expressions that you hear frequently that just don't quite work. (Grammatically or doctrinally) The introduction to this series is here. The first post is here, the second here, the third here, the fourth here.

"Hey 'Bish', how's it going?" It happened all the time, and I cringed every time.  One of my pet-peeves. I always let it slide, but in my mind I would say,

"Bish? The title is 'Bishop', thank you very much".

 Not because I was an egomaniac - I had felt this way long before I was ever called to be a bishop - but out of the respect for the calling.

Little thing? Perhaps. But it bugs me when people refer to their bishop as "Bish". I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of people who do this:

1) Good-hearted people who mean absolutely no disrespect, and are just trying to be extra friendly, or playful, by sounding more casual. Totally understandable - especially if you are good friends with the man, or trying to be. It is weird to be screaming at referees on Saturday night, only to be referring to him by title on Sunday morning.

2) Less good-hearted people who seek to mock, or diminish the title or the man holding it. I kid you not. I did a quick Google search (so that you don't have to), and found the term "bish" on many 'ex-mormon' sites, always used in a condescending manner.

The other thing I found is that 'bish' is also a casual abbreviation of a profanity that most of us associate with Joy Behar.

So, to those good-hearted people who are trying to be friendly, I would suggest that you use the title correctly. Also, I know that not every bishop is adored, but even if we don't necessarily like the man, we should still respect the title.

Also, another tiny detail, then a story...

"Let's ask Bishop what he thinks".  WRONG
"Let's ask the Bishop what he thinks." RIGHT
"Let's ask Bishop Jones what he thinks." RIGHT.

Remember, 'Bishop' is not his first name, it is his title. (yes, I know this is nit-picking, but I'm on a roll.) Of course everyone knows someone whose last name was Bishop. Bishop Bishop is still funny. As is Elder Elder, or even Elder Young.

A few years back, James E. Faust gave a great talk entitled "Called and Chosen". (link here) In it, he told a story that I think serves as a great reminder as to how we should consider the men that are serving in positions of leadership. Here is the story, and any of you serving in ward councils or bishoprics might want to remember this as you plan activities that put demands on your bishop.

President Faust:

I have admired and respected every bishop I have ever had. I have tried not to question their guidance and have felt that in sustaining and following their counsel I was protected against the “sleight of men, and cunning craftiness.” This was because each of these called and chosen leaders was entitled to the divine revelation that comes with the calling. Disrespect for ecclesiastical leaders has caused many to suffer spiritual weakening and downfall. We should look past any perceived imperfections, warts, or spots of the men called to preside over us, and uphold the office which they hold.
Many years ago we used to have money-raising events in our wards to pay for the utilities and other local expenses and activities now paid by the general Church funds and the local unit budget allowance. We used to have bazaars, fairs, dinners, and other fund-raising activities. At that time my ward had a wonderful, devoted, committed bishop.
A member of a neighboring ward found that a dunking machine was a successful money-raising activity. Participants would pay to throw baseballs at a marked mechanical arm. Hitting the bull’s-eye would trigger a release, plunging the person sitting on the seat of the machine into a big basin of cold water. Our ward decided to use this machine, and someone suggested that more people would pay for balls to throw if the bishop would be willing to sit on the dunking seat. Our bishop was a good sport, and because he was responsible for raising the money, he willingly consented to sit on the dunking seat. Soon some began to buy balls and to throw them at the target. Several hit the mark, and the bishop was drenched. After half an hour of this, he began to shake with the cold.
While some of the people thought this was great fun, my father was very offended that the office of the bishop had been so belittled and held up to ridicule or even contempt. Even though the money raised was intended for a good cause, I can still remember feeling ashamed that some of our people did not show more respect for both the office and the man who had by night and day served us so well as our good shepherd. As holders of the priesthood of God, we should set the example of sustaining the leadership of the Church to our families, our friends, and our associates.

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