My bishop asked me and my wife to come in and visit with him yesterday, so we went. He was just called as bishop a couple of weeks ago, so I didn’t really know what he wanted. My wife went in first, and she was in there a long time. She came out crying, holding a crumpled and wet tissue. I knew she would cry, as my unbelief has been unbelievably painful for her to deal with. All the while she was in the office, I knew what she would be talking about, and I knew it would hurt her, so I felt bad for putting her through that.
When it was my turn, the bishop asked me if I would be willing to accept a calling. It was a bit of a surprise, but I said it depended on what the calling was. Turns out they want us to volunteer one night a week helping migrant workers get health care. That I can do, no problem.
We talked about my family, my job, and whether or not we have health insurance (we do); apparently, the stake president wants to know who doesn’t have health insurance, for some reason.
Then he looked a little nervous and said, “I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds as bishop, but what can I do to help you get out to church more often.” I figured it was as good a time as ever, so I laid out my issues with the church in general and told him it was an issue of conscience for me. He asked if I had a temple recommend, and I said I didn’t. He asked if I would like one, so I told him that I would have to lie about having a testimony to get a temple recommend, and I wouldn’t feel right about that.
In the end, he said that he appreciated my integrity in standing up for what I believe in, and he said, “You can have a happy and productive family life without attending the temple.” I knew that, of course, but it was good to hear him say it. He gave me a hug and said he was glad we are in his ward and his neighborhood.
I’m glad we have a good bishop.