- The mantle of the bishop includes being president of the Aaronic Priesthood and president of the priests quorum, being a common judge in Israel, being presiding high priest, assisting in temporal matters, providing for the welfare of the Saints through auxiliaries and priesthood councils, and being responsible for tithes and offerings.
He speaks about the release of a Bishop and the former Bishop and tell the difference when he looks at the congregation he once was responsible for.
- Have you ever wondered about this mantle which comes upon a bishop? He can sit in a sacrament meeting and look out at his flock and know who is in trouble, look at his Aaronic Priesthood—the deacons, the teachers, and the priests—and know which ones need his counsel. There is a hopeless feeling when you are released as a bishop to become a General Authority, and then return to your home ward where you have been serving and realize you have lost the power of discernment with the ward members. You can’t do what you did as a bishop.
He speaks about the responsibility that we each have to support our Bishop as he oversees the people in the ward.
- Each priesthood leader who is here this day must go home and make sure the bishops understand the messages which we have heard, for it is in their interviews with the youth, it is in their interviews in calling the people to positions, it is in their compassion for the needy and the widows that the important spiritual things happen in the lives of the Saints. The bishop who utilizes the resources at his hands—the auxiliaries, the priesthood—to fulfill the needs of his people, is a true bishop, not one who follows slavishly a handbook to the detriment of his people.
Elder Hales asks that we all pray for our Bishop who needs the Lord's support to handle the responsibility on his shoulders.
- I would like to ask the youth and adults who are here, and all within the sound of my voice, that every night and morning you pray for your bishop. He needs your help. He cannot carry the responsibilities on his shoulders without your help and prayers.
He speaks about Bishops learn when dealing with people. He shares that Bishops learn to not judge people against a standard of perfection. He also rejoices with his flock when progress is made.
- All members of the Church can turn to their bishops when they are in need of help and can feel secure in his love for them and can have confidence in following his counsel. Bishops learn not to judge people against a standard of perfection. A bishop learns that he will rejoice with those over whom he presides in any progress they make.
We have all been blessed by great Bishops in our lives that served honorably. How grateful I am for a Bishop today who truly carries the burdens of his ward on his shoulders and manages to still be available to support each of us on a weekly basis. I was in a Priesthood leadership training several years ago and the comment was made that our responsibility as members of the ward is to make every effort to ease the burden that is on the Bishops shoulders. Since that day, I have sought to help make the burden lighter on my Bishops. We would all be benefited by helping a little more and praying a little more for our Bishop to be able to magnify his calling in the way the Lord would have him do it.