New Harmony: Open letter to an open-hearted bishop

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  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    Sept. 6, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    Thank you Jerry for raising such soul-growing issues. In the same vein as your theme, I remember hearing that one Temple Presidency counseled their workers that it is "better to bend a rule than break a heart."

    There is wisdom there, but from the other point of view, some then go about thinking all the rules can be bent often, instead of just in rare, inspired moments.

    Also, what if someone in Jerry and Bishop Baird's ward had seen Jerry's "wiggling without reproof" and used it to justify their worse actions?

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    I always say that we need to leave room to bend. Even though we are all taught the same lessons in Sunday school, we do not all interpret the lessons in the same way.Life becomes very difficult when we can not be at least a little bit open minded. Things happen that don't fit in to our beliefs and it is ok to step back and maybe look for a path or way that we normally wouldn't consider. Then we don't have to judge so harshly. Unless we are perfect, we all will have times when we do not perform to the best of our abilities. Times when others have kept an open mind and allowed us to make corrections. There will be moments that test everything we believe. If we don't leave room to bend a little, we may just snap in half. I am thankful for all those who have silently stood by me by allowing me to be imperfect and by showing me support when I had to pick myself up! I try to do the same for others

  • workingatit Providence, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    Bishop Baird is my brother. I, too, am learning from him to be a much better person. He and his wife are what I want to be.

    An open apology to Jerry: I once criticized you with an email because you indicated in a column that you would find it difficult to live up to the BYU honor code. I am sorry. I know better now, having learned from you and from my brother. I have wanted to comment many times about your fine columns but have reluctantly avoided any more correspondence because I felt badly about my quick and inappropriate judgment.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    This is a nice sentiment expressed by Jerry. I will add to it my observation that, in my experience with Mormon Bishops (I am married to an LDS woman), the ones like Bishop Baird are extremely rare! I have seen far too many strap on the proverbial badge and holster and go about "cleaning up this ward" like a certain militant Arizona sheriff!

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    To elaborate, without more detail it is easy to read into this that Jerry has probably had a long string of insensitive bishops and finally had one who oversaw his office appropriately.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    Just a little too vague to be helpful. What did you do Jerry: wear a blue shirt to church once in a while, only mouth the words to hymns?

  • donn layton, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    RE: ...the human soul as a flame in the fireplace. To flourish it needs three things:

    The Holy Trinity, is the central Mystery of the Christian Faith. God has however given us some clues in regards to this mystery by what is seen in creation.

    An example would be the Sun.
    The one Sun shows itself as triune, sunlight and heat yet one substance or essence, as its splendid in its unity and oneness.

    How much more the Creator of the sun is splendid and One in his unity and oneness in his triune being.

    Christians therefore believe in One God in three divine persons, great is the mystery of this unity. Its beyond unity, its more higher than what we can conceive as unity.

    But as Saint Augustine says, if we could fully understand God he would cease to be GOD

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Beautiful, Jerry. Thanks!

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    Terra Nova,

    Well said. I always look forward to his insights.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    For years and years, Jerry has written thoughtful articles that have resonated with truths deeper than most. Thanks.

  • gacanepa Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    Thank you DS for publishing this letter. Being a bishop myself, it really hit home and made me reflect on what I'm doing with this beautiful calling. Thank you, Jerry, for writing it.