This will be my last post at T&S. I’d like to thank those who gave me this opportunity and those who have participated on my posts. It’s been fun.
We appear to be a top-down institution, the higher-ups telling those below them what to do, but my experience indicates to me that we work from the bottom-up.
The Gospel Doctrine teacher works to prepare her lessons. She seeks revelation regarding her stewardship. After being overwhelmed by the number of people in her class she realizes she would be more effective in a more intimate setting so she suggests to the Sunday School president that they need to split and make another class. The Sunday School president considers this request as well as the similar request from the Gospel Essentials teacher for another class and seeks revelation regarding his stewardship. After whipping up a solution, Gospel Doctrine II, he then goes to the bishopric and submits his idea. The bishop’s counselor over Sunday School sees the need for the class, figures the idea is a sound one and together with the other counselor and bishop they seek revelation regarding their stewardship and determine that the creation of Gospel Doctrine II is a good idea and that they’re going to do it.
(If this were a top-down situation then the bishop would be the one to receive revelation that there is a need in the Sunday School for another class. Then he passes that information on to his counselor over Sunday School, he passes it to the SS president who then doesn’t really have any say, because it’s coming from the bishop after all.)
I understand this to be the order of things on all levels in the Church’s organization. Revelation is contextual, it never exists in a vacuum. Leaders rely heavily on those over whom they preside for information. That information is the basis for their decision-making and revelation.
And thank goodness for this.
To me it means that leadership is the sum of its parts (one part being the Holy Ghost). It means that it’s not the bishop’s responsibility to tell me what to do but rather to help me receive revelation in my own stewardship. It means that the Church is not perfect but continually improving with the assistance of God. It means I can’t blame God or even Salt Lake for all of the problems in the Church.
It means that God trusts me.