Sunday, August 10, 2008

An end and a beginning

My four and a half years in the bishopric of the Cornerstone Ward concluded this afternoon. Karl Griner was called into the bishopric to replace me and he will do an absolutely fantastic job of it. I am excited for him and his family as they begin serving in this sacred calling.

One of the greatest joys of this calling is the association with the other members of the bishopric. The bonds of fellowship in that group are sacred and powerful. There are a lot of things I am going to miss about this calling, but far and away the biggest thing I'll miss is the brotherhood. I am grateful that I can still associate with these great men but I recognize that things will be different now and I am sad about that.

Most of the feelings I have had today are too personal and too sacred to share on this blog, but it reminds me of other times when I have left a calling I have loved to move on to a different sphere of service.

At the conclusion of my mission, when I was experiencing some of the same feelings I have right now, I got an insight into a scripture that had puzzled me for years. In Alma 29:1-3, 6 it says:

1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the atrump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and acome unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

6 Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to aperform the work to which I have been called?

I couldn't understand why Alma considered it a sin to desire to declare the gospel with angelic zeal. But then I realized it was because he desired something more than the calling he had, and that he should be content and grateful for the privilege to serve.

I am grateful for the time I had to serve in the bishopric. The time I had was more than I deserved and I was richly blessed far beyond any contributions which I may have made during this stage of my life.

I am especially grateful to Bishop Lindblom and Bishop Huber for their kindness and consideration to me and my family during our service together. I learned so much from them both. They are outstanding men of God, and I am better for having served with them. I have a deep and abiding love for both of them that will be with me for the rest of my life. I am also profoundly grateful for the wonderful friendship I have established with Jon Albright. I have always come away from our conversations uplifted and enlightened.

Above all else I am grateful to my sweet wife and our children who have supported, encouraged, loved, and prayed for me during this time. The main reason I received this calling was because of the magnificent woman I am married to. Thanks Dulcinea!

And now a new stage of my life begins. Next week I return to the bench with my sweet family to enjoy our sacrament meetings together. I also begin a calling that will take me outside of my comfort zone, create new associations to enjoy, and bless my family in new and exciting ways. It is so great to be involved in this work!


Christine said...

So do we get to know what the new and exciting calling is? Or are you going to make me guess????

Jed said...

You're a good man Paul. I was touched by your sentiments. The bonds of brotherhood in service can run deep as I will attest in my own calling. Men I may have known little or nothing about have become good friends and brothers in the gospel through service.

Melinda Pink said...

Its a happy sad thing. I have been to your ward several times and I always felt proud to see you up on the stand. You have done a great job! Good luckon whats to come your way.