Elder Uchtdorf Addresses Concerns Posted on January 17, 2018 by Joyce Anderson As a follow up to my post of earlier this morning, Were Elder Uchtdorf and Pres. Eyring Demoted?, Elder Uchtdorf has commented on the subject on his Facebook page this evening: Read the talk “Lift Where You Stand”. Share this:TweetPocketEmailMorePrintLike this:Like Loading...
I find it sad that an Apostle of the Lord has to write this.
On the up side, I’m glad he has a platform to speak directly to members and non-members of the church.
James, agreed on both counts. I’ve never seen such an uproar at a First Presidency change– from our own ranks, no less. (I’m sure Meg can point out several historic instances). What’s saddest to me is that so many members seem to misunderstand the principles of calling and succession and the divinity of it all.
Personal opinion: the outrage from members is mostly confined to a few thousand loud mouths, many of whom stopped going to church a long time ago. The majority of Church members are outside of the U.S., and I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of them couldn’t care less about the concerns of U.S. malcontents. Even in the U.S., the vast majority of active members understand that Elder Uchtdorf was not “demoted.” Many people may have contacted Elder Uchtdorf to offer love and support and make sure he and his family feel wanted. That is a good thing of course, and I think Elder Uchtdorf is referring at least partly to well-intentioned people in this post.
It isn’t outrage, not by a long shot. But it is curious and it does buck tradition. In my lifetime (50ish years), there have been eight prophet deaths/1st presidency transitions (McKay-Monson), in that time, only one other heathy sitting FP counselor has not been retained in he reorganized first presidency. So riddle me this…what is different this time? And what is similar to the last time it happened?
“what is different this time? And what is similar to the last time it happened?”
The difference is that President Nelson received revelation as to whom his councilors should be, just like every President of the Church before. This time, he was prompted to call Elder Oaks, and not retain Elder Uhctdorf as a councilor. He also received revelation as to what assignments should be given to Elder Uchtdorf. It’s already been stated that Elder Uchtdorf has already received assignments for which he is uniquely qualified. Sounds like revelation to me.
Tradition has nothing to do with it. It’s all about revelation. We either believe that the Church is directly led by Christ, through revelation, or we don’t. If we do, then who constitutes the Prophet calls as councilors in the First Presidency is of little consequence, as they are selected through the revelatory process, and we should trust that the calls came from Christ. If we don’t believe that these decisions are made through revelation, then it doesn’t matter either, because at that point, we don’t believe the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are truly Prophets, Seers and Revelators.
What this has really become is a vocal minority, (mainly SJW’s) crying fowl, because they thought that somehow, Elder Uchtdorf was going to radically alter Church doctrine to be more in line with worldly acceptability.
My Dear Rat,
The answer to your question should be obvious to any faithful and believing Latter-day Saint. The Lord wanted President Oaks and President Eyring in these respective callings and revealed His will to President Nelson.
Specifically addressing President Oaks as the new member of the First Presidency, I would note his many years of Church service (next in line in seniority) and the fact that he was a distinguished attorney, jurist (justice of the Utah Supreme Court), Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, and President of BYU. In times of financial stress, the Church has had in the First Presidency leaders with financial experience and expertise. Given the Church’s current concern with religious freedom at home and around the world, affecting Church schools as well as many other aspects of the Church, I have no trouble at all conceiving the importance going forward of having someone of President Oaks’ legal background and expertise in the First Presidency.
I’ll take a stab at what’s different, Rat, with the caveat that all the answers above regarding revelation are absolutely correct. But since we’re just kinda talkin’ here …
President Nelson is 93. That’s what different. He’s a spry 93, to be sure, but physically speaking a lot can go wrong really fast by the time your body is 93 years old. There’s every reason to believe that President Nelson won’t live another five years. That’s not a lack of faith. It’s just biology. These imperfect mortal shells we inhabit wear out.
So President Oaks is 8 years younger than Nelson. And next in the line of succession. And he’s never served in a presidency. It’s reasonable to believe that Oaks will come to occupy the big chair, sooner rather than later. He could probably use some exposure to the position.
Obviously the Lord gets the credit for the decision. But even if He doesn’t–even if Nelson just made this decision himself–it tracks as eminently sensible for a self-effacing guy like Nelson. He knows he hasn’t got long to go, and Oaks is one of his closest associates in the Quorum. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the next few years give us a tag-team presidency, wherein Nelson and Oaks almost co-occupy the position, and speak with one voice in a way we haven’t really seen from a presidency yet.
For what it’s worth, I provided a comprehensive analysis of “inter-regnum” changes in the First Presidency.
Click to go to analysis
As someone who has studied the statistics, a huge problem we have here is that we don’t have enough instances to provide a valid statistical analysis about what any of these things mean. Give us a few thousand years and we might actually have something that could be subjected to statistical analysis.
There is a fun instance recounted by Carlfred Broderick, where he was released from a calling and left without calling for an unusual period of time. At the time, Brother Broderick imagined he had become persona non grata for his involvement in advocating sex education at the national level. But then he was called to be Stake President. When Brother Broderick asked, he was told that the period of “disgrace” he had imagined was merely that – imagination. At the time of his original release, they had intended to call him as Stake President, but the wheels of process had simply taken a long time to turn.
One can always imagine reasons for any perceived slight. But that doesn’t make those imagined reasons actual reasons for the action.
President Nelson and President Oaks are profoundly good personal friends, having been seatmates in the Twelve for 34 years. Even prior to that, they knew each other and were friends since at least 1965.
Even putting aside revelation from the Lord, given President Nelson’s advanced age, it is probably extremely helpful to have one of your dearest friends and seatmates at your right hand as you are bearing the heaviest burden of your life at 93.
Bottom line, it just makes a lot of sense.