Am I Moroni to my Bishop's Pahoran?
Behold, I direct mine epistle to [the bishop], ...who is the chief judge and the governor over the [congregation], and also to all those who have been chosen ... to govern and manage the affairs of this war[d].I've been pretty frustrated over the last few months. I have two children in the nursery at church, one aged 3, one aged 1 and a half. We haven't had a nursery leader in our ward since July.
...we desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, we desire to know the cause of your thoughtless state.
...Yea, even they who have looked up to you for protection, yea, have placed you in a situation that ye might have succored them, yea, ye might have [called others to help] them, to have strengthened them, and have saved ... them from falling [by the wayside].
Keryn is in the primary presidency. Their presidency has submitted a stream of names, eventually getting to the point where they aren't looking to find the "right" names to submit. They are just looking for warm bodies. Some calls have been extended, apparently, but none have been accepted.
Weeks go by without word from the bishopric on the status of the names submitted. Each Sunday Keryn's ears perk up during ward business to see if someone will be sustained. None are read and she pushes back the tears of frustration that fight their way up.
5 months after being made aware of the need, there are no nursery leaders.
Each week would bring a fresh round of stress to Keryn as she called different people to find substitutes. Eventually, a letter was given to each parent with a child in the nursery, including the bishop, giving them an assigned week to serve in the nursery.
The merry-go-round of faces was tough on the kids. They didn't have a good routine, they didn't have a rapport with the teachers, and some increasingly resisted coming at all. Finally Keryn and I decided it would be better for our kids as well as the other children if we spent as much time in the nursery as we could until permanent leaders could be called.
So, for most of these five months, I've ditched my obligation to be with the Priests quorum and played with the kids in the nursery. I can hardly complain about the fun level during church. I really enjoy being with the children in the nursery. And the more I do it, the better I get at it, and the more I like it.
But every week I go in to the nursery, I must do so with guilt that I'm leaving a portion of my real calling undone. (Being a dad is my real real calling, so I end up in the nursery by choice.) My calling with the Priests is primarily a weeknight calling. I am in charge of shepherding their Tuesday night activities. Because I don't see the young men in church on Sunday, I never feel like things are as well organized as they might otherwise be.
I feel ready to issue an ultimatum to the bishop: Either call someone to the nursery so I can feel comfortable as a father sending my children there each week, or release me from my calling with the young men so that I can fill the role in the nursery personally. It isn't a case of being unwilling to hold two callings. It is a case of being uncomfortable holding two mutually exclusive callings, and one of those unofficially.
So... I feel like I have a pretty good case right? I've been feeling this building up over a period of weeks. Then this afternoon I thought of the story of Moroni and Pahoran. Moroni was so ticked at Pahoran for not sending him the needed help. He assumed that Pahoran had no excuse and he chewed him out good.
I guess before I get too angry at the bishop, I need to remember what an incredibly sticky situation he must be in, calling people (including former bishops and relief society presidents) to serve in positions who flatly refuse. I'm glad I'm not in his shoes.