A friend of mine started her conversation with me by saying, “Being a member of this church is like taking chemotherapy. You know you need to it to live, but you hope it doesn’t kill you in the process.”

She then went on to explain her dilemma. Her bishop is a mess. He has major mood swings, is demanding, petulant and unpredictable. It is bad enough their ward had a special Sacrament meeting where the Stake President asked the ward to support the bishop without complaining. The Stake President has also met with my friend and other ward leaders and asked them to be patient because he is trying to teach the bishop how to be a leader.

As my friend described a couple of run-ins she and her husband have had with their bishop, I remarked it sounded like he wasn’t mentally stable. That thought hadn’t occurred to her. Instead she was feeling frustrated and guilty for not wanting anything to do with the guy.

My friend’s next question was, “What should I do? The Stake President obviously knows there is a big problem and his solution is for everyone to hang in there and suck it up. But I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I don’t even want to go to church at all.”

(As a side-note, my friend and her husband are the humblest, best Mormons I know. They are long-time temple married, raised the kids, etc., etc. and have served in all the leadership callings except her husband hasn’t been bishop. She says that just proves Heavenly Father does answer prayers.)

I had no idea what to tell her. So.. with her permission I am throwing this out you – the Great Collective Brain at Mormon Mentality.
Here are what my friend and I think are her options:
1. Go to Sacrament Meeting only.
2. Ask to be released from her calling that puts her in close proximity to said craziness.
3. Wait it out. Only four and 1/2 more years to go…
4. Skip over the Stake President and contact her Area President with her concerns.
5. Sell her house and move into a new ward.
6. Talk to other ward members who have expressed the same frustration/hurt/anger with the bishop. Form a committee of people to go to the Stake President so no one person gets singled out for “dissension” against the bishop.
7. Wait silently until someone else does something.

I am worried about my friend and her fellow ward members. I don’t think it is good, healthy or right for any ward to have to deal with a disturbed bishop. I am reminded of the Utah doctor recently convicted of killing his wife who was a bishop twice and it came out in court that he was pretty much despised in that role. Not once, but twice ward members put up with his arrogance, temper tantrums and bad behavior.

  • http://gawker.com/utah-doctor-convicted-of-drugging-and-drowning-his-wife-1461473149
  • What should my friend do?