Frustration - Bishop is too busy
By pacoloco
3/4/2013 11:19:06 PM
So we have all had bad, worse, good, and great Bishops. Not that any are insincere, but some are just simply better at handling addictions than others.

My current Bishop just seems too busy to see me. He travels for work and doesn't have regular formal times to meet with him. The only time he seems available is during church. And since that is the only time he is available, the entire ward is swarming him. The times I can catch him he seems in a hurry, doesn't want to really hear the details of my latest relapses, and mostly just asked what medium I used and how i'm going to eliminate it.

I guess i'm just frustrated because I found really good success in the past with Bishops who made me accountable.

So what do I do? Move to another ward? Just wait 3 more years for him to be released? Tell him I feel like he doesn't really care and he's not helping me? Go to the Stake President for counsel instead?

OR (this is probably the most likely thing cause I tend to do this a lot without realizing it)
Am I just counter blaming the Bishop for my own lack of personal responsibility?

The 12 step meetings are great. Can't go as often as I'd like so I'll listen to the podcasts on Mormon Channel. But nothing is better than a caring Bishop, hands down! That one on one counsel has the potential to feel like you are sitting with the Savior.


MY take -- Bishop is your worthiness judge. They arent counselors    
"I feel your pain. I had the same issue for a while. Only met a few times/ year with him. I felt like I was the lost sheep bleating in the night and the shepherd never came.

On the other hand, they are aren't trained to be therapist. They don't really know what to do regarding slips or how to judge how serious it is.

that's why I needed a sponsor and a therapist to help me understand "me". My bishop helps me understand my worthiness. Once I got that together, I felt more comfortable.

You can also ask for a regular monthly checkup with the bishop. It's more common that you think. Perhaps first sunday of the month at 8am for 15 minutes. Just a thought. Not sure what works for you. At some point I realized I had to do my part and ask for how I wanted the bishop to help me. "
posted at 08:55:06 on March 5, 2013 by Anonymous
Make an appointment with the clerk    
"That way the bishop will have time Scheduled to meet with you."
posted at 15:10:33 on March 5, 2013 by g1rlie
Called the clerk    
"(he's my home teacher) and he said the Bishop doesn't have appointments. Told me I should just try to catch him at church.

I guess I'll just have to try harder. I just wish it would be easier to arrange things with the Bishop without the entire ward interupting during my attempts."
posted at 20:03:24 on March 5, 2013 by pacoloco
Bishop too busy    
"Wow. If your interpretation of the clerk's words are correct, that doesn't sound appropriate to me. If the Bishop doesn't have time to meet with ward members and shepherd the sheep outside of the three-hour block, he probably should have let the Stake President know that when he was called, and he should probably have declined the calling, in my opinion.

You might want to call your Stake President and inform him that you don't mean to complain, but when you call the Executive Secretary to get an appointment with the Bishop, you are told the Bishop doesn't do appointments. Then explain your frustration trying to catch him at church when everyone else is also trying to catch him. Finally, end by asking the Stake President if you could arrange a meeting with HIM instead.

Of course, the Stake President doesn't have time to meet with everyone in the stake or even in your ward, so this could result in him asking the Bishop to arrange more interview time slots.

That being said, I agree with all those who have commented before. You should not see your Bishop as your sponsor or your accountability partner. You should also not see him as your therapist. He is your judge in Israel, as has been mentioned, that is all. If you need more than that (and you probably do), use the 12-step group, use a sponsor, use your spouse (if you have one), get a real therapist, and find someone else to be accountable to.

The dear Bishop is busy with his own life AND lots of people to serve. It appears that YOUR Bishop is far too busy (probably the way I would be if I had that calling, which is one of many reasons I don't). You should not schedule his time any more often than you must."
posted at 20:22:14 on March 5, 2013 by BeClean
"I'm sure I could make a better effort at getting with him. The way it is set up though is not conducive to people coming to him. I have no problem telling any Bishop anything. Confession is a piece of cake for us pornography addicts. We've done it to many many ecclesiatical leaders that it isn't even a big deal any more. So if I have a problem getting to him, I feel terrible for the hesitant confesser.

BECLEAN I've thought about going to the stake president. But like you said, he's so incredibly busy that I don't feel like I should add to it. And that is probably my problem with my Bishop to. I hate to burden him.

And to not relying on my Bishop to be my therapist, I've never thought of them as that. The good ones admit that they aren't one and have referred me to the 12 step program. The ones I get frustrated with are the Bishops who try to be the therapist when they aren't capable. They need to be the spiritual beacon and advocate for the Atonement.

Probably my biggest frustration with the Bishop is that because of how busy he is, if I ever can meet with him, he seems uninterested. I can tell he's got other things on his mind and just wants to "get this over with."

I can see I'm being critical of my leaders and maybe I should be more understanding. However, we are told all the time to "go talk to the Bishop" when we have problems and it's disappointing that when we muster up the courage to do it, there's a lack of concern on the other side of the desk."
posted at 22:44:47 on March 5, 2013 by pacoloco
Find Someone Else    
"I'd recommend finding someone other than your bishop to speak with. Every bishop is different, and it sounds like this one is going to be the kind you confess to when you need but don't necessarily rely on for anything else.

And I disagree with KICK IT's disagreement - I find being overly tough on myself makes it easier to slip into a cycle of P use. Instead, I try to see myself as the Lord sees me. The Lord doesn't see us by our sins. He sees us for who we are, who we were, and who we are to become. He loves us and continues loving us even when we slip up. Based on what you've blogged before, you became hooked on porn as a teenager; does any teenager REALLY understand what he or she is getting into with this volatile stuff? I don't really think so. In my mind, Christ's attitude is, "You're having trouble with something you shouldn't have been involved with in the first place and probably wouldn't have if you really knew what this was. But you're making an honest effort, and you're not giving up, and so I'll continue to send my love so you know how valuable you are and that you're worth it."

We can't be too hard on ourselves because that makes it too easy to slip into self-loathing and discouragement. We need to have a realistic understanding of our actions and their consequences. This doesn't mean we can excuse ourselves; quite the opposite. We understand our actions are keeping us from greater blessings and opportunities for service, but we also understand we can improve and get this addiction locked down more and more every day with the Lord's help and by taking advantage of the temporal resources we have."
posted at 00:50:52 on March 6, 2013 by johnroberts
Find Someone Else (ctnd.)    
"(Sorry, I broke this up because it was getting long.)

Anyway, your bishop is NOT the one to be there at a moment's notice for you. Every bishop is different, and while we may prefer your current bishop isn't who he is, becoming frustrated or overly concerned will only open us to negative feelings/influences.

Instead, find a sponsor at a 12 step or someone else you can call and talk with. Seek out a mentor. Agency is a tool of creation; create the situation you want to have outside of the resource of your Bishop. You'll be more empowered this way, and you'll see what you can build with your life through humility and work. And always, always try to remember Christ and lean on Him for your support. It's sooooooooo hard to do this, especially when our motivation is low, but you can do it! People have been in worse places than you and succeeded. You can not only survive but thrive during this difficult period."
posted at 00:54:11 on March 6, 2013 by johnroberts
Thank you    
"Thank you JOHNROBERTS for your words of encouragement. I do have a question, does anyone know of a resource to find a sponsor? Our 12 step group includes a bunch of people who are still struggling with sexual addictions, not really quite recovering yet. And the facilitator is an Alcoholic. Is there some online source for finding sponsors?"
posted at 22:50:07 on March 6, 2013 by pacoloco
I had to go to a conventional SAA meeting to get a sponsor    
"I looked up a meeting online and then attended. Some meetings have more sober people that others so don't be afraid to ask around. I had to go to 3 different meetings till I found one.

there are other groups too:

SAA - sex addicts anonymous
SA - sex aholics anonymous
SLA - sex and love addicts

The Church ARP and PSAG isn't well designed for Sponsors. Church members are highly sensitive to shame and seem to only attend ARP/PSAG until they have a few months of sobriety or go through the 12 steps on their own. I even had a well meaning arp missionary comment --" our goal is to get you through the program so you don't have to come back"

good luck to you. If you need help, and it sounds like you do, the Lord will open the right door at the right time."
posted at 08:16:36 on March 7, 2013 by Anonymous

Add a Comment:

***Anonymous User***     (login above to post UN-anonymously)

"One of the false notions of our society is that we are victims of our appetites and passions. But the truth is that the body is controlled by the spirit which inhabits it."

— Terrance D. Olson

“Teaching Morality to Your Children,” Ensign, Mar. 1981