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Student Ward Bishop Released

PROVO, UT - Mark Smith, bishop of the Brigham Young University 937th Ward was released this week after serving in the calling for only three months. The surprise release comes after a severe drop in meeting attendance since he was sustained.

George Johnson, a counselor in the stake presidency, explains the action, "We came for a visit and nobody showed up for the meetings.  We decided we had to do something."

At first, stake officials were very concerned. A careful investigation of ward records, however, revealed that the drop in attendance did not indicate the entire ward had become inactive.  Rather, records revealed that all members of the ward had recently gotten married and could no longer attend the singles-only unit.

Johnson said, "We were very surprised and pleased with what Bishop Smith could accomplish in such a short time.  Other bishops have taken years to achieve the same result."

When contacted, Bishop Smith refused to take credit for the achievement.  "This has been a great cooperative effort on the part of everyone," explained Smith, "The Elder's Quorum President, Relief Society President, and other ward leaders all did their part to help out. They were also willing to practice what they preached, which made it a lot easier for everyone else."

Apparently, some of the credit can be given to Melody Gunison, who, until she married ward member Nicholas Music last week had been the ward's activity chairperson.

"She came up with the idea," claims Smith, "of setting aside fifteen minutes or so after every activity to allow couples who had gotten engaged during the activity to make a formal announcement.  I really think the added peer pressure got some of the more bashful ward members to make up their minds."

Bashful or not, the "proposal periods" apparently were a main attraction. Smith explains that after the first few times, they had so many students who wanted to make their announcements they were constantly getting kicked out of the building by the custodian when he came to close up.   "We solved that problem," said Smith, "by having an activity every night."

The perfect record for Smith was not always easy. "We were down to just the executive secretary, and he hadn't had a single date the entire time I was there," explains Smith.  "Turns out, though, that he was just too busy setting up temple recommend interviews for everyone else to meet someone himself.  The night of the last interview, my daughter was picking me up, and, well, that was that."

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Mormon Zone on July 13, 1999. The LDS Church has officially retired ward number "937" in Bishop Smith's honor.

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This is a parody article intended for entertainment only and does not document real events or persons.  In other words, this is fiction.  Copyright 1999, 2009 by The Mormon Zone.  All rights reserved.