I heard a sweet lady speak in church not long ago. She spoke of a difficult marriage and a husband who was unwilling to live the gospel. She spoke of abuse and emotional disorders. She spoke of trouble and debt. Real physical illness resulted from trying to hold her marriage together. My heart went out to her. Then she said, “But finally I asked my dear bishop what to do and he told me to get a divorce, so I did.”
She said, “dear.” She meant “poor.” Shame on a bishop who would tell a woman to get a divorce. The effect of doing that was to deprive the woman of the opportunity of paying the price for her own inspiration or revelation. Certainly she was entitled to it. But as with all other valuable things, there is a price attached. I do not know whether the bishop told her the right thing or not. But I do believe that there are no shortcuts to inspiration. The price is always praying and studying the matter in your mind. Often there is fasting and patient waiting. No earthly power can change all of that. I fear that the woman was trying to find the will of the Lord for her without paying the price. That simply cannot be done. Yet how many of us say to our bishops, “Tell me what to do”?
On Giving and Getting, F. Burton Howard, BYU, May 22, 1984