I have the most amazing Bishop in the world!! Truly I do. I'm not just saying that or being emotional - he really is the best. For the sake of this posting, let's call him ' Bishop Jim'.
About 5 years ago I came out to the then Bishop - not this one - and went through some Church discipline. That Bishop was and is still an awesome man. He loved me when I didn't think any other human being on the planet could; and I still love him dearly and appreciate what he did for me. One of the things that came out of that first experience was the need for a special friend, sort of like a "super home teacher", that I could reach out to in this difficult time of my life. I had no family to turn to. So the Bishop called Jim into his office one day and asked if he would be willing to be a special home teacher for someone in the Ward. He didn't tell him who it was until Jim had said he would be willing. Then he told him it was me, but he would not tell him why he had this assignment. The Bishop left that up to me to tell.
So Jim came to my house one evening and I had the privelege of telling him my life story and coming out to him. Here was a man that had only been a member of the Church a few years, and I was telling him about my homosexuality, sins and transgressions, negative experiences, etc. He took it all amazingly well and was incredibly supportive. He told me knowing I was a homosexual did not change his feelings about me one bit. I found I was comfortable talking to him about anything and everything. He's extremely intelligent and a great conversationalist. He invited me to sit with his family in Sacrament meeting, and that was such a nice way to include me. The family I had been sitting with was no longer in our Ward, and I was lonely at Church.
So for about a year this wonderful relationship grew and Jim was a constant support to me. He was there when I finally got my Temple Recommend back and was able to go to the Temple (we both have a special appreciation for the Nauvoo Temple). He checked up on me almost daily. He became my brother and friend in every way, and I learned to truly love him like a brother!
Then one Sunday they announced intentions to make a change in the Bishopric. Normally I would be panicked that they would put in some homophobic Bishop, but I knew immediately it would be my friend Jim - now Bishop Jim. I was so glad it was him!! I knew the supportiveness would remain, and it has. He is ever supportive, ever loving, ever caring. Even though I have slipped back into transgression he has not turned away or given up on me. He calls me almost every day, and every time he tells me he loves me. And I know he does. I know he does.