It has been five months since I was released as bishop, after serving the anticipated five years. I kept a journal the entire time, recording many of the precious experiences. Here is my final journal entry, written about two months after release:
I was released as bishop on June 26. It was a hard day emotionally, second only to the day I was sustained. I feared I wouldn’t be able to keep my emotions in check, and I had to tread carefully sharing my testimony. But I held up pretty well, and it was a joyous day as much as a sad one. Bishop Bill Young was called—I don’t know of a more angelic man, and good with people, especially the youth. I spent a couple of hours with him this afternoon briefing him on various items. He must feel even more overwhelmed than I did, since he is a convert.
I was subsequently called to teach the Marriage and Family Relations Sunday School class. What a delight that is. I find myself so “free and easy” at church these days, and enjoy sitting with my wife in the chapel. I do find myself gravitating towards my counselors, Br. Bay and Br. Atack, in the hall or at gatherings. In some ways I feel like a recently returned missionary who isn’t used to being separated from his companions. I miss some things, and have to sit on my hands at sacrament meeting sometimes thinking this or that needs to be done, or done differently.
I enjoyed testimony meeting today, and felt strong emotions when A. C. was awarded his Duty to God, and when Sis. xx bore testimony about her long road back to the Church. I had visited her a few times over the years and worked with her to petition the First Presidency to cancel her sealing and to feel the power of the atonement in her way back. It is heartwarming and satisfying to know I have had some impact in my years of service. Sis. Emmett remarked in her testimony that we love this new bishopric, just as we loved the previous one. Each is right for the time they serve. And I feel the same way.