Date: September 17, 2010 07:27PM
In early 2009, a a$$hat of a bishop's counselor came to the house to "call" my wife to be the gospel "doctrine" teacher. I had just resigned in January, and he acted angry when he came. I didn't like this guy, anyway. He'd had the gall (under the direction of the inspired bishop) to call me as Sunday school president after I had already announced that I was resigning. (Yeah, I know. Amazing.)
He sat down and abruptly said, "Let's have a prayer," He folded his arms, lowered his head, and had at it, as if I wasn't even there. I would have protested, but I didn't have time to react or even the presence of mind. He came to ask my permission, of course, to have my wife be a teacher. I said he didn't have to ask me, but he insisted, in fact, that he did. I didn't know about the new and dumbed down lesson manual at that point, and might have made the point that, as gospel "doctrine" teacher, DW was now becoming part of the problem, the largest of many reasons that I left the church (covering up history, teaching falsehoods--you know the story). But I didn't have the presence of mind for that, either.
Fast forward to two days ago: A high counselor called and spoke with DW, saying that he needed to talk to her, an obvious sign that there was a stake "calling" ahead. He asked, "Can I talk to your husband when I come?" She, fearing histrionics by me, said merely, "Well, he'll be here...," her voice trailing off. I was prepared to take this guy's head off this time, if necessary, and to object to whatever needed objecting to. Still embarrassed by last year, I was not gong to be caught with my guard down.
So yesterday, this 6'5 guy who looked like a huge James Taylor came to the door. I invited him in, and we sat down and were joined by DW. We had friendly chit-chat for maybe 15 minutes, and he proved really nice and very engaging. I kept my guard up, though. Finally he said, "Well, as you might have guessed, I'm here to extend a stake calling, and would like to ask you to be the stake RS secretary." He turned to me and said, "And customarily, of course, we ask the husband's permission to have his wife serve in any capacity."
He'd been so nice. I merely said, "Well, she's a middle-aged woman and can pretty much make any decision on her own, so in future there's no need to defer to me." He merely smiled and said, "Thanks. I can relate to that."
See, the church would be so much improved if there were leaders like him, but sadly I believe he's the minority. A hundred guys like him wouldn't have kept me in, but my time served would have seemed less like the trial that it was. I was glad I held my tongue, and without a doubt so was DW.
I walked him out the door and to his car and shook his hand. When I came back inside I remembered to comment, "Nice guy." And he was.