Fri, 17 August 2018
What would cause a sitting Mormon bishop and his wife to lose their testimonies while he is serving as bishop – leading him to resign as bishop? Jeanne and Jason’s story is another in a series of episodes where we interview past Mormon bishops.
The two describe raising their four children in the church, their varied callings, and how inextricable Mormonism was in their marriage and worldview. Jason’s first call to a bishopric was not one he felt ready or spiritual enough for. Moved by the words of President Hinckley to “Forget yourself and go to work,” he accepted and immediately went to work. “He was a good bishop,” affirms Jeanne. Jason “upped his ‘spiritual game’” by eliminating hard rock from his music collection. Jeanne and their children made similar steps to fit the mold.
Once called as Bishop, Jason began reading the LDS Gospel Topics Essays, beginning with “Race and the Priesthood,” which caused him to reflect on 2 Nephi Chapter 5 as well as his own experience teaching individuals in New Zealand. “It shook my confidence in the scriptures. It never occurred to me that prophets could be wrong…in ways that affect people’s lives.” These essays served as the beginning of a series of events that eroded Jason’s testimony.
Jason was further shaken by being invited to interview as a candidate for Stake President, causing him to wonder if such callings were really the result of inspiration or perhaps the leadership were just ordinary people doing the best they could. Expressing these concerns to Jeanne caused her grief, wondering how her husband could still be a good in person if he left the church.
Around this time, Jason found Mormon Stories Podcast, which helped him learn more about challenging issues in the church. Issues for Jason began to mount as he learned about individuals who questioned doctrine and did not receive sufficient answers. Jason goes on to describe what it’s like to remain a Bishop after losing confidence in fellow priesthood leaders. As both of their testimonies crumbled, Jeanne and Jason describe being “heartbroken.”
What does this bishop do as he, his wife, and his family lose their testimonies?
Join us now on Mormon Stories Podcast to hear the full story. You will not find more sensitive and thoughtful people than Jeanne and Jason Booth.