When I was first made bishop, she was in the nursery during those two-out-of-three hours at church - not a bad place to be especially if you're the bishop's wife. One of the other sisters who was there, and a good friend whose husband is practically my cousin, said to her, "I can't believe all the things I've heard people say since your husband became bishop!"
"About Grant?" my wife asked.
"No. About you."
My wife's response is for the ages. With a laughing smile she said, "Well, they're probably all true!"
It is almost impossible to avoid giving offense even as we should be constantly trying not to, but the taking of offense is always our own choice and that can be a very difficult struggle as well.
My wife has been preparing a Relief Society lesson. (Wait. This is 5th Sunday! Maybe I get to hear it. But then we had that Temple dedication and it's Fast Sunday - which I forgot - as we have General Conference next week. I rarely know what's going on. No, she just informed me it's the Presidency lesson and the Bishopric is putting off 5th Sunday Discussion.) Anyway, she is riffing off President Uchtdorf's talk from last Conference about not being so judgmental. Her copy of the Conference Ensign is here with a lot of highlighting. I'll share some of them:
"When we feel hurt, angry or envious, it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment."
"Christ's Atonement is infinite and eternal. Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others."
"Haven't we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy--to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?"
"Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? . . . should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven?"
"In a world of accusations and unfriendliness, it is easy to gather and cast stones. But before we do so, let us remember the words of the One who is our Master and model: 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.'"She also bought little bags of "Accent Stones" or decorative rocks at the Dollar Store. If I ever wanted a collection of decorative rocks, I'd just ask my grandsons. But it's a nice touch. And we all know you can't leave RS without a handout. I just hope the sisters get the message and don't start throwing them in Sunday School - I found out late last night I have to sub. At least I'm not bishop - or the bishop's wife.