Sunday, August 3, 2008

When Your Leaders Fall.

When your leaders fall you treat them as anyone one else who has fallen. You remember they, just like you, are human. You remind yourself that just as Jesus Christ has accounted for and paid for you, he has paid for them also and through his Atonement and his blood that was shed for each of us, they too will be justified.
You leave all unrighteous judgements to God the Father once again remembering that His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ is our mediator, our Savior. You ask for peace and comfort, give peace and comfort and continue to serve: AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

I say these things today because I'm just getting home from church. If you were to read our ward bulletin today, it would look a little odd to you.

In the section where it says ward contacts you would see information about all the ward leadership starting with the 1st counselor of the bishopric. You would not see my bishop's name in that listing.
You would find his name on a different page announcing the times of his viewing and funeral.

On Thursday July 31, 2008, my bishop, using a gun, took his own life.

That's all I will say, without speculation, regarding his death.

I haven't been in this ward very long, just about 4 months. In that time, I've only met with the bishop 1 time. I've only talked to him twice.

Let me tell you what I know of him.

Saturday June 21, 2008. I'm sitting in a chapel in Midvale sobbing uncontrollably. My head is in some one's lap, I don't remember whose lap it was. There were arms around me, 2 people kneeling in front of me telling me to breath. I faintly hear... someone call the bishop. It may have been me, I'm not sure, that day is still foggy to me. All I know is I need help!
Within an hour I'm in a car headed to LDS Family an emergency trauma/crisis victim.
My bishop has just made an appointment for me on emergency status, and is paying for the charges from the ward fund for however long I need it.

Void of knowing who I am he is concerned for my welfare. I find out later that he was on the phone several times that day with my sister, and my other friends who were with me, making sure I was where I needed to be, comforted and safe. He would contact me in a couple days to follow up. The next 2 weeks for me were a blur. I would find out later, he called the Doctor I had seen several times, to be filled in on my treatments and how I was doing. He called my home as well, spoke to my sister to make sure I was progressing and doing well. He didn't want to interrupt my rest and would wait another week before actually speaking with me.
When I did meet with him, he showed so much kindness, support and love, for me, a member of his flock. Although he only knew me by name, He, my Shepherd tended me, his sheep as if he had known me since a little lamb of his own.

I think of the words from the hymn:
I stand All Amazed, 2ND vs:

" I marvel to that he would descend from his throne divine
to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine.
That he should extend his great love unto such as I
sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify."

Although his was not our savior Jesus Christ. He took on that roll as mediator, Shepherd and caretaker for me and hundreds of my ward brothers and sisters.
For this I am eternally grateful. Each time I step into my therapist office I give thanks to Bishop Williams for being one of my Shepherds at this time in my life when I need it.

God bless him and his family and Daybreak First Ward.


Gramma said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Bishop! Who knows what personal problems he was experiencing but he was empathetic enough to know how to help you. We need more Bishops who could learn from him. Thank you for your blog. It is an inspiration to read.

elaine said...

I think it is so impressive you are able to see this. So many watch their leaders like a hawk for mistakes then use it as an excuse to be angry/offended/disgusted. You are right, they are only human and are doing the best they can with their lives just like we are.

Lisa said...

So sorry for your loss.
It sounds like he was a good man.

ShaBANG said...

Thank you, ladies for your visit to my blog and your comments, they are much appreciated.
There was a bit of guilt and feeling as the burdon I'm struggling with added to his own.
I am assured through various ward members and leadership that he LOVED being a bishop and tending his flock. So I am finding great peace in that knowledge.
We may never know the peices to this puzzle. We shouldn't have to know them to be able to do what should come naturally to us all.
I believe when things of this nature happen it's our greatest test in allowing "The Holy Father" on high to do just that, be father. And we, as heavenly siblings are simply to love, support and continue to serve.

T.Douglas Robbins Esq. said...

Amen. Great perspectives. God bless his family and friends and this time. We never know exactly where each of us stands, tragedy can strike anywhere.

Sandra said...

What a beautiful tribute and post. Thank you.

Can I ask you a question? The picture of Jesus walking with the little girl, your Daddy Daughter Moments, where did you get it? I have been looking for a picture like that for my daughter for almost 10 years.

kelly miller said...

I read a talk by Hinckley once and he asked that we pray for our Bishops. So I wrote a poem based on my thoughts from it. And with my beehive class- we gave it to him...
You said it all. Their personal stuff aside- they are blessing and do remarkable things. I had a Bishop once who was released for unknown reasons- but he had been there for me and his counsel still stays in the back of my mind. He was a blessing to me.

I love your blog. Best to you.

In our Savior's name, we do pray.
For our Bishop who serves this day.
He's our Shepherd, and we're his flock.
He is there when we need to talk.
May our prayers help him with his load.
Bless him with safety on the road.
Bless his dear children, and his wife.
Keep them safe from harm and from strife.

Please bless us to be teachable,
For he makes himself reachable.
Bless him when there are not enough hours,
Sustained by his priesthood powers.
Bless us to trust when he knows best
For with all thy funds he's honest.
Bless him through his meeting this day.
And us to heed what he will say.

Please help us trust his confidence.
He can lift burdens tremendous.
When clouds bring anguish and despair,
Bless him with wisdom for repair.
He places in us stewardship.
Help us to improve fellowship.
Help us be worthy as a ward.
We ask for these things with one accord.

- President Gordon B. Hinckley

60–62, Gordon B. Hinckley, Nov 2003,
“The Shepherds of Israel, ” Liahona

ShaBANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ShaBANG said...

Thanks you all SO MUCH! I'm blessed with the support of so many people I know and don't know. The Bishop's funeral just ended. The neigbors are all coming home from it now. There's a sadness in the air around the neigborhood. But I'm amazed and the support everyone is giving and getting.

Sandra, that picture is a Greg Olson Origional. You can find it at Deseret book. There's a FABULOUS story behind it on THIS blog from one of my posts just after the holidays if you care to read it:

if not, that's cool too.

Kelly, that's a beautiful poem. It fits for a couple of things I've been trying to put togther, thank you. Do you mind if I use it with a credit to you of course?

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