I am privy to an interesting situation at church. We have a ward member who is not mentally balanced. She takes medication and is living in a supervised setting. It doesn’t always work so well. And even when it does work well and she socializes nicely, her main delusion is still there.
I have asked her enough times in different ways to know that her thoughts are still distorted; it is more a matter if her meds/self-control/verbal warnings have been enough to keep her quiet at the moment.

Her main problem is interesting. She believes she is going to marry the Bishop. She says his wife is dead and that Heavenly Father wants her to be the Bishop’s wife. The Bishop’s wife, who is very much alive and well, doesn’t factor at all into her relationship with the Bishop.

She hasn’t done anything about her delusion that I know of. She hasn’t told the Bishop directly or done anything to publicly embarrass herself or him or anyone else. She just talks about their wedding day, which is always just around the corner and how she is anticipating their honeymoon will go. Depending on the day, it is a lot of blue information about an imaginary sexual relationship.

The situation makes me think of bigger questions, like how common is it for a Bishop to be idolized, anyway? Is there any specific training that Bishops have to help them with sticky situations? I know for counselors and therapists there is an open acknowledgement that it is very, very common for clients to become infatuated with their therapist because they share personal information and a therapist is trained to always be supportive. I can easily see the same thing happening in a Bishop and member situation because they too hear painful experiences and show unconditional love in return.

So what is a Bishop supposed to do? And how does it feel to be the Bishop’s wife, knowing that at least one or two women in the ward fantasize you were dead? If the Bishop’s wife is nice she might be lucky enough to die in a good way, without suffering, so there is that at least.