Each young woman will understand and appreciate the responsibilities of her bishop.
Provide paper and pencils for the class members.
Bring notepaper, pens, and envelopes.
Optional: Bring a picture of the bishop of your ward.
Optional: Invite the bishop to visit the class to discuss personal interviews and other responsibilities he has.
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
A Bishop Has Many Responsibilities
Display a picture of your bishop. Discuss with the young women the calling of a bishop. Point out that the bishop is called and set apart as the presiding high priest in the ward. He is appointed as a judge in Israel for the ward members.
Give paper and pencils to the young women. Have them listen to the following quotation and write down the responsibilities of a bishop.
“The bishop presides over every person in the ward and directs their local church activities. … All of your adolescent life you will be under the direction of the bishop. He will appoint teachers and supervisors to do his work, but he will be very much interested in your progress. Your life here will be constantly weighed by him, for he is the judge of your worthiness … to receive higher ordinances, and to be worthy to go to the Temple.
“If you are going to work in the Church system you will learn to be obedient to your bishop. If you get into trouble you will be wise if you seek his advice and counsel. He has been designated by the Lord and appointed by the President of the Church to be responsible for you and to make sure you progress according to your worthiness and ability. …
“… He will see you every year at tithing settlement. He will interview you. … If you go on a mission he will be the one who makes the first inquiry as to your fitness and ability to serve in this capacity” (S. Dilworth Young, More Precious than Rubies [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1959], pp. 40–41).
What are some of the responsibilities you wrote down? List these on the chalkboard.
What other duties and responsibilities does the bishop have? Add those mentioned to the list. These may include presiding over and conducting meetings; directing home teaching; approving ordinations and advancements in the Aaronic Priesthood; interviewing; conducting tithing settlement; judging personal worthiness; giving counsel, comfort, and priesthood blessings; recommending mission calls; approving callings to members; issuing temple recommends; being responsible for records, minutes, tithes, and offerings; being chairman of committees responsible for activities, welfare, and buildings and grounds; overseeing the temporal and spiritual welfare of members; helping in the process of repentance; discerning needs.
Who are some of the people the bishop calls to help him?
In addition to counselors, be sure that quorum leaders, Young Women presidencies and advisers, visiting teachers, and home teachers are mentioned. Emphasize that the people helping the bishop represent him in many of his responsibilities. But he still presides over all the affairs of the ward.
If you have invited the bishop to participate, have him take five minutes to tell the young women about the purpose of his interviews with them and about some of his other responsibilities as bishop.
We Can Express Appreciation to the Bishop
If it has not yet been mentioned, point out that a bishop usually has a wife and children. So he also has family responsibilities. He must earn a living and take care of his family’s spiritual and temporal needs. The untiring efforts of the bishop are often unnoticed and unappreciated.
How can we express our appreciation to the bishop for all his efforts in our behalf?
Read the following letters of appreciation from two young women to their bishops:
“Thanks for all the help with our class and activities. I can see how you help others in your interviews, and I can see how the interviews help me too. I was so excited to come to Young Women but was a little scared. You have encouraged me, and now I feel at home. Thank you for calling such a good leader for our class. I have learned a lot from her and the older girls. They keep me going.
“A Thirteen-year-old Girl”
“Your counsel and guidance are truly from God. I have put this counsel to the test, and without exception it has proved to be right. My family is also grateful to you for your help in sending out the missionaries from our family and also for helping us in hard times. I appreciate the way you relate to the youth of the ward and get your message across so both young and old can understand. I know the Lord is blessing the ward through you and your work.
“A Seventeen-year-old Girl”
Distribute notepaper, pens, and envelopes to the young women. Ask each class member to write a note of appreciation to the bishop. Make sure that the notes are delivered.
The young women may also want to choose one of the following ways of expressing appreciation for the bishop during the coming week:
Share your feelings about your bishop with your family at family home evening.
Share your feelings about your bishop with the bishop himself.
Do something nice for your bishop this week.
In your personal prayers, thank Heavenly Father for your bishop and pray for him.