For the first time ever, I am sincerely asking for your advice. I know that might seem funny since the whole point of a blog post is to generate comments, which I usually welcome. This time (again, for the first time) I don’t want comments. I need advice. And perspective. And someone to hold my hand.

A few months ago I posted about how my Bishop and his family from my previous ward had left the church.

At the time I was charitable and said I wasn’t judging their choice, etc. and hoped that someday they might choose to come back.

That was then, this is now.

Now I know they not only left the church, but did it in a spectacular way that has left a whole lot of people (me, for instance) in serious states of hurt.

They have posted on Facebook pictures of the whole family (Ex-Bishop, his sanctimonious wife who never had a nice word to say about me, his kids who were mean to my kids) sitting in a bar, beer bottles in hand.

The Bishop has taken to playing in a bar band and has gotten a tattoo. He has also joined Mothers for Marijuana, which I think has nothing to do with medical purposes. He has run into old members of his ward in public and has made disparaging remarks about them still being “brain-washed sheep.”

Here is the thing: I am so mad. I am mad at him for creating a ward that made it so hard to attend that my kids didn’t want to go. He created a ward so full of dysfunctional leadership meetings my husband (for the first time ever) asked to be released from his calling because he couldn’t stand one more meaningless meeting. My husband wasn’t the only man who asked to be released. Two other men also came to the point they just could not do it. I had four different strong families tell me they were glad to be moving out of our ward because it was so hard to be there.

I directly attribute my son’s lack of interest in church at the moment to the way this man suffocated the spirit out of every Young Men activity for five years. My son did get his Eagle Scout under this Bishop. But he got it in spite of the Bishop, not because of him. Well, that and he actually loves all that stuff.

My point is, for the full five years we lived in that ward, we saw families in pain that didn’t get the support they needed from the Bishop. We ourselves suffered in silence, not bringing our own family traumas to his attention because we knew that there was no point.

He wasn’t mean, he wasn’t punitive. He just wasn’t there. Ever. He lived by the rule book. Everything was done by the letter of the law, nothing by the Spirit.

And now I am mad. I am mad at the teenage years my kids spent with a Bishop who didn’t give a damn. I got my testimony of the Gospel of as teenager. I had great teachers and a Bishop who loved me and I flourished. My children got none of that. I am mad at being robbed of having a Bishop I could count on.

I am mad at the Stake President who lived in our ward and didn’t do anything because it was right, everything done by The Book. I want to shake the Bishop and Stake President and say “How dare you do this? How dare you make church so soul-sucking that no one wanted to bear their honest testimonies? How dare you censure all free-expression of emotions, preferring Sacrament Meetings be nothing but rote reading of General Conference talks with no personal insight. How dare you not allow the teenagers the freedom to be themselves, to encourage their attempts at spirituality and instead insisted they all fit into a nice, quiet box of Mormon conformity.”

We hung in there. We really did. We attended every Sunday and every other meeting and activity. We told ourselves that he wouldn’t be Bishop forever and hoped the next guy would be better. When I got particularly upset at the Bishop’s wife for being such a pain-in-the-a__, Rob reminded me to not speak ill of the Lord’s anointed (because I asserted the Bishop should do something about his wicked wife) I went to the temple to regain my non-judgmental Christian Love of my fellow man. I had to do a lot of work to stay active in that ward. It just wasn’t right.

Now my Ex-Bishop is playing the electric guitar at a western bar while his mean-spirited, judgmental wife looks on and his young adult children, who made fun of my kids because they weren’t “righteous enough”, get drunk.

And I am mad.

Help me. Tell me what to do to make this better.