How Mormon bishops lead

Posted on June 5, 2012 by


Here is a piece by Ronald B. Scott called “Mitt Romney: How Mormon bishops lead” that does a pretty good job of explaining what a Mormon Bishop does. It is tied into Mitt Romney, since he was a bishop at one point, but it does a good job regardless of any political plug that Mr. Romney might get from its writing.

There are no precise prerequisites for any “calling,” bishop included. The inspired calling itself is qualification enough. A construction foreman could be called as bishop of a ward brimming with academics and business leaders. Five years later, that bishop could be released and called to teach children in the Primary.

Helping educate people about the service oriented nature the LDS church is fundamental to understanding the Mormon culture. For many people it is totally alien concept that the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints is based on valunteers and the the positions change on a regular basis. Laurel Ulrich, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian and life-long church member is quoted as saying:

“Nobody gets paid. Jobs change regularly, and there are constant reminders of the need for patience, long-suffering, and love. Although bishops aren’t actually accountable in the way elected officials are, no bishop can really succeed unless the congregation respects him enough to do the volunteer work that keeps the ward going. He really has only moral authority and persuasion to get them to do the work.”

Even the young people of the church are giving callings that help them run organizations that they are involved with like scouts, the church’s young men and young women programs. The idea of service and learning leadership is a long tradition in the Mormon church and has to be understood if you want to know why the Mormons are the way they are.

Posted in: Factual Article