Neeley Ops


Today I was publicly released as the second counselor in the Bishopric in the Valley Ridge Ward. I served for just shy of 18 months. It was a hard meeting, but in a good way. I had the opportunity to share my testimony during the meeting. I thanked the members of our ward that I had met with to extend callings. I thanked them for being willing to let the Lord change their lives by accepting new responsibilities. I also told them extending callings was the scariest thing I’d ever done.

I restated my comment from last week about being clean – that I meant it 100%. I talked a bit about Section 93 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I had happened upon it during my reading this morning. It talks about light and truth. I said I had thought a lot about the various electronic devices in our lives, and how they blast us with brilliant light, but what the light makes visible is based on our choices. I tried to point out that some sources of light are counterfeit, but I don’t feel I got that point across very well. I urged everyone to always be aware of the kind of light they were letting into their lives.

I closed my testimony by expressing my love for our Bishop. He is not an eloquent speaker, and he worries about that, but he has it where it counts. First of all, he sings the hymns. And second, he does what the Lord tells him to do. And that was it.

The rest of the meeting was really good. Our new second counselor is a great man whom I love very much. He is so kind. He got up and said, ‘well, this wasn’t on my bucket list’. That’s about all I needed to hear. He talked about the special responsibility and privilege it is to serve in a bishopric, and he’s right. It’s both of those. I will miss the weekly meetings.

We then heard from the Bishop’s son, and a lovely couple whom I had asked to speak about a month ago. The topic was family history work. I appreciated hearing their messages, which were all good, down to earth, and based on their own experiences. Josh (bishop’s son) explained how family history was the kind of thing we were supposed to do with our families, in our homes. He told a story about his Aunt. Shalei talked about her new year’s resolution to write in a journal. I was moved and greatful for her message. Her husband, also named Josh, spoke about how family history work was a part of the gospel he had not really experienced since joining the church. He mentioned his uncle, whom he loves dearly and doesn’t expect to join the church during this lifetime. Josh said he wanted to make sure that his family history work included his uncle–that he couldn’t imagine not having him around after this life.

In Sunday School we talked about Lehi and the importance of keeping a record. In priesthood meeting we read from the Howard W Hunter manual. In one quote, he talks about doors closing and others opening. It was an appropriate lesson for me, as I really loved serving and counseling with our bishop and our ward council. I won’t be a part of those meetings anymore, but that’s OK. There are new doors opening just around the corner. And my friendships made there will last forever.