It has been two weeks since I was released as Bishop. Church is completely different when all you have to do is go and attend your classes. Sacrament meeting in the congregation is also completely different. I all of a sudden am not concerned if there is bread for the sacrement, if the speakers even show up or if they say crazy things.
An unexpected change was that my family got bigger while I was Bishop. I served for almost 6 years. We did not have any more children in that time but our oldest was 8 years old and our youngest was a couple of weeks old. All 5 kids got physically bigger. What this means if I sit with them there is not room for us all on a small bench. My plan was to come to church early each week and play musical benches. I wanted to see how many different families we could displace. You know how protective people can get over their pew. If I took a bench that caused a family to move they would have to take someone else bench and so on. A huge domino effect would happen and no one would be in the same spot. I thought the plan was brilliant. My wife however wanted nothing to go with it. Something about we are friends with these people and you had your chance to offend them while you were Bishop. So we spoke to a family that had most of their kids move away and we took over their bench. They can thank my wife the peacemaker aka “kill joy”.
The thing I miss the most is the ability to play musical class rooms. During Sunday school I could do interviews, go to primary or pretend to be a membership clerk. It all depended on what kind of a mood I was in it was like 31 flavors of things to do. Now it is more of a chocolate or vanilla world; Gospel Doctrine or Gospel Principles. I was able to sit in on Gospel Doctrine for the first time in 6 years yesterday. It was a great lesson but the expectation is that you stay for the entire lesson.
Sitting on the stand was great fun. We could whisper to each other and take bets on how late certain people would be or how long it would take specific members to fall asleep. It was also very clear to see which couples were fighting by their body language. Usually by the rest hymn they had made up and were actually giving off happy vibes It was also funny as heck to see people do their various “I am nervous about giving a talk dances” while standing at the microphone. These dances ranged from simply rolling of their ankles to what could only be described as a small scale version of “River Dance”.
Sacrament meeting is vastly different in the pews than it is from the stand. There is always give and take, but all things considered I am totally happy cuddling with my wife instead of whispering in a man’s ear. It seems a lot less awkward.