Obviously, this picture needs an explanation. My Bishop snapped it at Church after I sent him a text message.

Yes, I do text message the Bishopric during Church and for a very good reason. I manage the Zoom meetings and sometimes I have to alert them to things like whether they need to adjust the camera, volume, audio, etc.

On this particular Sunday, we had a stake visitor. He was in full view of the camera on the stand and the image was not particularly flattering.

This sometimes happens on Zoom. Things that are innocuous sometimes take on importance when a camera is aimed at you.

He had on a brilliant blue tie. This was okay for the in-person audience. However, on the stand, his pants rode up his leg revealing his socks of the same brilliant blue color providing an interesting image for the Zoom audience.

To say it was noticeable was an understatement.

I couldn't resist, or rather, I didn't resist in text messaging the Bishopric the following:
It's great to have [REDACTED] with us but his blue socks are a little over-the-top.
My Bishop responded back with the above picture and the following remark:
I don't have room to talk... other than not being in the camera shot.
I'm still chuckling over this very human response. I never expected him to take a picture of his own socks and send it to me.

This experience reinforced to me that our leaders aren't extraordinary and unusual superheroes. They are people, just like you and me, with flaws, strengths and even sometimes an excellent sense of humor.

We tend to expect some sort of unusual strength and insight from them because of the callings they currently possess.

Oftentimes they do live up to our unrealistic expectations. Sometimes they don't. However, usually, they just don't seem to and that is the subject of this posting.

Why DO they do what they do?

Every so often I get outraged over something that happened at Church or something that Church leaders did. More often, it's something that I think or perceive they did.

What I've discovered over time is that I'm usually wrong. Yes, you heard it here. I'm usually wrong.

On occasion, I've even confronted them with my misperceptions and inaccurate conclusions. Guess what, they explain their reasoning, rationale and decision-making processes, when they can. Then, I end up feeling like an idiot.

They generally have good reasons for why they do what they do, even if they don't always tell us what's happening.

Some examples from the COVID-19 era

For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, things seemingly got pretty silly. Draconian measures were taken at the Church. Access was strictly limited to all areas of the building. Signs posting what we could and could not do were up everywhere. Everybody had to wear masks, social distance, not use the bathrooms, etc.

The reason it looked extreme is that things weren't that bad in Indiana. Other religions were back at Church or never left. Shopping and access to buildings, organizations and other entities had eased but things were very strict at Church.

It looked silly, or so I thought.

A member of local leadership explained why to me. The answer has to do with the Area that northeastern Indiana resides in. It includes places like New York where COVID-19 got really bad.

The seemingly draconian measures were a result of decisions made for the Area. They made sense in New York but looked a bit silly in Indiana.

However, the Area Authorities make decisions for the entire area and that's why things were what they were here. I don't imagine they looked draconian in New York.

I heard other local members question this seeming silliness as well. I explained the rationale to them that had been shared with me and they agreed it made sense.

Another issue that came up recently was why we were still using recorded music in Church when numerous people could play the piano and would undoubtedly be willing to do so despite having lost all our organists recently.

Well, we were still largely using Zoom and the organ can be projected over the sound system but the piano can't. Using the piano would have completely alienated the Zoom audience.
Another rational explanation.

However, the best example I can muster also comes straight from my own experience.

I was very critical of the Zoom meetings when they first got started. This is before in-person Church was again an option and the only way we had any connection to Church at all.

In the middle of all of this, I got called as Ward Technology Specialist and my main responsibility was the Zoom meetings.

I think I summed things up well in a text message to the Bishopric soon after I got called:
It's poetic justice that I ended up responsible for all the mechanisms I was venting so much criticism over. By giving me this calling you guys really know how to humble a person!
Suddenly, I was making the same mistakes and having the same problems I had been so critical of. My new perspective was, and still is, humbling.

What should we be thinking?

There are other examples. However, they involve some controversial or sensitive subjects and I don't want to go into them here.

Our Church leaders aren't stupid. If they could and would share their thinking into why they do what they do and why they decide what they decide, we could probably see the insight and wisdom in it.

Next time you are apt to criticize them, you might want to think again.

Continue reading at the original source →