Here are some things I learned:
Lesson Number 1:-
Never presume everyone has read the handbook. If you are the music Chairman, never presume the Bishop has actually read the Music Handbook. For example, my Bishop was the Second Counsellor prior to becoming the Bishop (had been Bishop for over 3 years at that point) and it was obvious to me upon him reading the handbook out aloud to me one Sunday, it was the first time he had laid eyes on the thing.
Lesson Number 2:-
It would solve so much trouble if you have a Bishop who is willing to listen and do some research himself rather than try to argue every single case and then try to prove you wrong by reading the Handbook out aloud. On a side note, the other 3 Bishops I worked with have been FANTASTIC and completely on the ball. Just make sure YOU are prepared. Things WILL work out in the long run.
Sometimes the Bishop just need to completely be ignored if he is making ridiculous comments that really don’t make any sense. Perhaps he is suffering from lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of pre-preparation etc. Sometimes you may even want to smack them on the head with a hymn book but they are human and do say some ridiculous things occasionally, as do we all.
Lesson Number 4:-
It is so comforting to have people with a sense of humour. There was one particular problem the Second Counsellor and I were tackling and I asked what else we could do if it wasn’t approved. He grinned, threw his hands up in the air and said “Then I quit, I just quit, we both quit”.
Lesson Number 5:-
Just do your best and be long suffering about it. There are so many frustrations involved in this calling, it takes a very patient person to be able to deal with it all. If you need to have it out with your Bishop (in the nicest way possible, of course), by all means go ahead. Make sure you know what you’re talking about first.
So if there are any Bishops out there reading this; Best of luck. And a word of warning. Don’t arrange an appointment with your Music Chairman only to schedule it down on the wrong date, re-schedule another and not come prepared for it. It will only make your Music Chairman cross and feel like the whole thing is a waste of time. Read the Handbook and do your duty “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence” (D&C 107:99).
Read the Music handbook. Everything you need to know is in there – from what the Ward Music Director does to calling Ward Choir Members to who should provide music training.