“5 Ways You Can Help Your Bishop Help You,” Liahona, October 2018
He greets you with a firm handshake every time you meet, he sits in his designated place on the stand during sacrament meeting, and he sacrifices so much of his time to serve you and the Lord.
He’s your bishop: a priesthood leader who is called by God to preside over your ward. His to-do list is never fully checked off, he counsels members in his office even after he’s had a long day at work, and he lingers in the meetinghouse hours after church has ended to fulfill all his duties.
Your bishop may look like he has boundless energy, but leading an entire ward can be exhausting! He strives to do his best, but sometimes he needs a hand. Here are five ways you can help your bishop help you:
Pray for him. The bishop’s calling can test the limits of his mental, spiritual, and physical energy. He needs the strength that only God can give but that can come because of your faith and prayers (see James 5:16).
Have faith in the office. You sustained him as your bishop, but your faith isn’t necessarily in the man; it’s in the office or calling of bishop and in the God who called and sustains him. How can you show your faith? Be willing to fulfill callings and assignments. When you meet with your bishop, go prepared—praying, fasting if necessary, and dressed appropriately to show your respect for the Lord. Consider his counsel carefully. He represents the Lord.
Get to know him. Make an effort to get to know him. Ask him about his life, his background, and his experience. Let him know that you appreciate his service and that you have faith in his ability to fulfill his calling. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13.)
Don’t wear him out. Your bishop wants to help you, but if you have a problem that could be handled by your ministering brothers or sisters, one of the bishop’s counselors, or your Relief Society or elders quorum president, go to them first. Their callings exist for a reason! They are there to help you and also to allow your bishop to focus on the things that only he can do.
Let him be human. While it might seem like your bishop was made for his calling, he isn’t perfect. He doubts himself, and he makes mistakes. But he truly loves you and gives all he has to his calling. Be open with him. The more he knows about you and your situation, the more he will be able to help you.