So in honor of Joe getting married this week, I'm gonna talk about two of his least favorite things: Bishops and Dr. Who. (Okay, maybe he doesn't really have a thing against bishops.)
Recently, a friend was talking to me about his new bishop. There was an interesting idea that would this bishop give the same responses to my friend's concerns as his previous bishop. Because, after all, they're guided by the same source.
I had an analogy all worked up, but he didn't know Doctor Who (how sad for my friend). So I'll give it to my readers. But first, I finally found an answer far later to my friend's question. At least, an answer that I see and feel to be accurate. For this example, I'm not using anyone's personal experience. I'm just focusing on the generic.
If Bob goes to Bishop Jones and confesses of something. And if Bishop Jones says to Bob, "Let's talk about this again in two months and see how you're doing", he is correct. But, you have to remember that this man, despite his call to lead a congregation, is still a man. He still has what he thinks and feels is best for you as an individual.
During this two months, Bishop Jones is released and replaced by Bishop Smith. (Anyone see the Doctor Who reference?)
Remember Bishop Smith is a completely different man. His thoughts and feelings on a subject are different. And Bishop Smith may listen to you and say "I think I'd like to have you meet with me in two weeks and please don't take the sacrament until after we meet again." Guess what, Bishop Smith is also just as correct.
But...wait....if Bishop Jones is led by God and Bishop Smith is led by God, then how come they can come up with a different response/approach to the same thing? Ignoring the "well, Bob has continued in his sin" idea, I'm going to point to the fact that each man sees things differently. To Bishop Jones, your problem, your past, and you as a whole are seen in a certain light. Bishop Smith sees you differently.
One can fault Bishop Smith for being too pious. Too by the book. Too young in his calling. One can just as easily fault Bishop Jones for being too apathetic. Too hands-off. Too trunky in his calling. (How many readers actually saw it that way?) Here's the thing, each man has a different approach to express his love as well as to help us use the atonement in the way to best receive forgiveness. I doubt Bishop Smith doesn't know what he is talking about and I doubt that Bishop Jones was just ready to be done.
Now let's take the Doctor Who approach. Rose is different than almost any other companion in the modern Dr. Who series. She is the only one to have seen two doctors. (Yes, Clara will shortly, but we haven't seen her and the 12th (not counting War) interact a lot yet.)
For Rose, she had gotten used to a "fantastic" Doctor. But then we get the ginger-obsessed 10th doctor whose teeth feel weird. Yes, everything about him is different. Including his personality. I think the key to these regenerations is that each doctor has a physical quirk to him. You go from distinguished to carrying a recorder to looking like a clown to having the longest scarf known to man, to keeping celery to the most obscure coat to a red "Riddler's" cane to a steampunk outfit to a biker jacket to a pair of converse to a bow tie.
The point is, that a bishop is like The Doctor. No, he doesn't travel around in a blue Police Box and have interchangeable companions like a bad boyfriend. But he does view things differently and still be able to do the job that he is asked to do.
This same analogy works for all callings...
Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.