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Previous Blog: Last night's visit with my bishop and friend
By josh
8/31/2006 12:00:00 AM
(Copied from a previous blog on a different site)

Day 31:

Last night I talked with my bishop. I talked about so much with him, and so much with my wife that sometimes you just feel talked out. But I do want to record my experience. I am starting to realize that there are things I want to write about that I don’t really want to make publicly available. I might start a private blog for these types of things, or I might just have to keep a journal the old fashioned way. I’m not sure yet. At any rate, there are aspects of my experience last night that I will not write about it here.

Even though I knew talking with the bishop was the right thing to do, and even though I set up the appointment myself and had told myself that absolutely nothing would keep me from doing absolutely everything the Lord wanted me to do, it was still a hard thing. I had been fasting all day along with my wife, but I don’t think that’s why my stomach was in knots as I drove up to the church. I had to wait a few moments while he was interviewing others so I went into the clerk’s office to get caught up on some things. It felt strange doing my calling, as if that’s why I was there at the church. Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d still be the ward clerk after talking with the bishop.

It came to my turn and we started the conversation with some small talk while I dreaded and at the same time looked forward to when he would ask, “So what can I do for you tonight?” The question came and my tongue was tied. As I paused I could see his countenance change (in a good way) as he began to realize I was there to confess. I’d thought a lot about how I would word it, how I would bring it up the very first time, how I would start the conversation. I think attending the LDSAR meetings helped, and I just spit it out. We talked for a good hour or so, and it was an absolutely wonderful experience. I knew that the next step that the Lord had for me was coming from His servant - I had that reassurance. He specifically addressed many of my thoughts and concerns without me saying them. He even talked about scripture references and thoughts from those references that could have come straight from this journal.

At the end I was able to ask him for a blessing. I think it was the first time in my entire life I have ever asked for a blessing. Much of that is too sacred to share here, but suffice it to say that when he spoke I could literally sense the inspiration coming into his mind. I knew that it was the specific counsel that the Lord had for me – I felt as though I knew that as surely as if the Lord was standing before me giving me this counsel. I thanked my friend and bishop for who he was and what he was able to do for me – not just because of the nature of his calling, but because of the way he lived his life.

Before he gave me the blessing, he wanted to step out and excuse one of his counselors who was out in the hall waiting to go on visits (I felt a little bad – and selfish – for causing him to miss those). He was out in the hall for maybe two minutes, but it seemed like a very long time as I sat there alone in his office. I looked up at a picture of Christ on the wall, and I just broke down. I’m not really sure why. I think I felt sorrow, joy and love – not just His love for me, but my love for Him, all at the same time. I knew that He was why I was here. I felt in my heart that He suffered for me personally, that He knew who I was, that He wanted me to succeed, and that He was pleased with what I was doing. When I got into my car, tears came again as I offered a prayer thanking my Heavenly Father for His love for me, the sacrifice of His Son, the service and love of His servant my bishop, and many other things.

I don’t think I will write specifically about the specific course of action recommended by my bishop. Maybe it is silly, but I worry that to others reading this it may encourage certain expectations about how what their bishop should do in their situation. It is not what the bishop decides – it is what the Lord feels you need. That is going to be different for everyone, and anyone going through this needs to have that faith that the direction comes from the Lord. It will probably become apparent as I make future entries, but for now, it is between me, my bishop, and the Lord.

I cannot end without expressing my love for my Heavenly Father and His Son. I know that they love me - and everyone, regardless of who you are and what you have done. It is a love that I cannot fully understand, but I feel it as real as anything. All things are possible in Christ, and many things are ONLY possible through Christ. He is truly the way, the truth, and the life. There is a reason we call it the “miracle of forgiveness.” It is a miracle. Today I answer Alma’s poignant question – if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? Yes, I have; and yes, I can.

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"Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only to decide some things once. How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation. "

— Spencer W. Kimball