He came home from church and hung his truck keys on the key rack. Then he instinctively searched his suit pockets for his church keys before remembering that those Bishop's keys--both physical and spiritual--had just been passed to someone else.
It was an emotional day for sure, a closing of a major chapter in our family's life. But after nearly 5 1/2 years of diligent service, the time had come for Jon to be released from his calling as Bishop.
The growth we experienced as a family is remarkable, truly an amazing blessing. Those five-and-a-half years held some of our family's most difficult trials, but we learned a great deal about faith, prayer and the love of our Savior. Our young children grew older as their father grew to become an amazing leader. He carried a mighty heavy mantle with such faith and humility. I'll forever be grateful for the example he showed our children of willing service in the Kingdom of God.
Our children were so young when Jon was called, they scarcely remember life before Dad was the bishop. On the way to church, Natalie said, "I'm excited to sit by Daddy at church. I haven't done that my whole life!" But they loved seeing Dad on the stand. The older kids loved that interviews with the bishop were interviews with Dad. His office felt like home to them. They'll miss that. However, we all look forward to more time with Dad, especially on Sundays.
It was a long and most wonderful journey. We each feel privledged to have had the opportunity to travel it.