Russell M. Nelson Called as 17th President of the Church

If you missed this morning’s announcement about the newly organized First Presidency, you can watch the video below. The First Presidency announcement starts at the 52 minute mark and the press conference, which began at 10am this morning starts at the 1:51 (one hour, fifty-one) minute mark.

President Russell M. Nelson was called and set apart on Sunday as the 17th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dallin H. Oaks has been called as the First Councelor and Henry B. Eyring has been called as the Second Councelor. Elder M. Russell Ballard has been called to be the acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Elder Christofferson conducted the meeting and took a few minutes to explain the process of how the new president is chosen and how things are organized, he also bore his testimony of the meeting, “As a participant, it was sweet, sacred experience in which the Lord’s will was clearly manifest and all were in full accord. This experience confirmed once again that Jesus Christ directs His church.”

He also explained that by choosing the senior most apostle to be the president of the church, posturing or campaigning for position is eliminated, that this process provides continuity and that the one who becomes the new president has been prepared for this calling. He also quoted Elder John A. Widtsoe, “This is a wise procedure. It places at the head of the church the apostle who has been the longest in service. He is known well to the people and trusted by them. He himself knows the procedure of church affairs. He is no novice to be trained for the position.”

My thoughts… Continue reading

How to Watch Pres. Monson’s Funeral

From the Mormon Newsroom: ” Funeral services for President Thomas S. Monson, leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held in the Conference Center on Temple Square Friday, January 12, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. MST. The funeral will be open to the public ages 8 and older.”

You can watch the funeral via the Mormon Newsroom’s youtube page HERE The funeral will also be streamed on, and You can also download the apps from and watch on your mobile device, HERE.

Today thousands of people have come to Temple Square to pay their resepcts to our beloved prophet.

Here are also some tributes to him from Pres. Uchtdorf, Pres. Eyring, and his daughter Sister Ann Dibb:

President Thomas S. Monson: On The Lord’s Errand

Disagreeing with LDS Prophets and Apostles vs Losing Confidence in Them


[Cross-Posted from Sixteen Small Stones: Disagreeing with LDS Prophets and Apostles vs Losing Confidence in Them]

Among some members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it has become increasingly common to openly and publicly criticize teachings, directions, decisions, and policies of the prophets and apostles of the church.

I recognize that this trend is at least partially the consequence of a more general societal shift in attitudes and perceptions of privacy; a shift that is influenced by blurring lines between the public and the private driven by information technology and the Internet.

As long-time readers of my blog know, I am very troubled by this trend. I am troubled by the nonchalance with which members of the church confidently declare that they know that the prophets and apostles are wrong about this-or-that.

While I have have written extensively about this and related topics, I recognize that my posts are long, disconnected, and probably not very accessible to casual readers. When you are discussing the issue in the comments of social media, pointing to pages and pages of blog posts written over the course of several years just doesn’t work well.

So here is my attempt to distill my reasoning into a single, more succinct and consumable post: Continue reading

Beware Uncharted Islands – The Beast Below and Enduring in the Old Ship Zion

[Cross-posted from Sixteen Small Stones]


Last month, my daughter sent out an email query to the members of our family asking for each of us to respond as quickly as possible with the name our favorite magical creature of all time. I didn’t respond immediately and so her question slipped off my radar. She followed up with an email reminder, and then a verbal reminder. I didn’t understand why it was so important, but after a little thought, I told her that my favorite mythical creature was Fastitocalon.

Like most people, she had never heard of Fastitocalon.

Fastitocalon is the name of a gigantic mythological sea monster that floats at the surface of the ocean and deceives seafarers. The wicked beast waits for sea travelers, who easily mistake it’s huge carapace for an uncharted island, to secure their ships to its shell and disembark for a rest from their journey. Just when they are starting to feel safe and enjoying themselves, Fastitocalon dives into the sea, sinking the ships and drowning all the travelers.

For Christmas, my daughter gave each member of the family an original drawing of the creature they had told her was their favorite. And she gave me a wonderful drawing of Fastitocalon, a photo of which I have included at the top of this post.

I love my daughter’s conceptualization of Fastitocalon as a giant turtle. I like the line between what appears above the surface and what is below; the change in lighting and color. The welcoming island above and the beast below.

My first encounter with Fastitocalon was through J.R.R. Tolkien’s delightful poem of the same name in “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil“: Continue reading

Beware the Leaven of the Dissidents


In response to recent disciplinary actions by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, supporters of those being disciplined have complained that the charge of apostasy is inaccurate because, they assert, the individuals and the organizations created by them have not taught any false doctrines or acted in opposition to the prophet or the Church.

They insist that all they are doing is asking questions. So, what false doctrine can they possibly be teaching?

This is my attempt to answer that important question.

At the outset, let’s immediately dispense with the notion that “asking questions” is always unambiguously innocent and unassuming.

Continue reading