Thomas Spencer Monson passed away January 2, 2018

President Thomas S. Monson passed away of natural causes on January 2, 2018. He had celebrated his 90th birthday in August 2017.

Thomas Monson became an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1963 at the age of 36. He became President of the Church in February 2008. His ministry was characterized by love of people, a love which often broke down seemingly insurmountable barriers. For example, he was the driving force behind the agreement of East Germany to allow a LDS temple to be built behind the Iron Curtain, as so many Mormons from East Germany were seeking to travel to Europe to attend temples in non-Communist Europe.

As an apostle, Thomas Monson would often tell stories from his tenure as bishop in Salt Lake City, where his large Ward included many widows. His care for those relying on him as bishop gave us a window into what it meant to care for the widow and the fatherless, yet President Monson would tell the stories with self-deprecation, always amazed at the goodness of the people he served and often admitting his own failures to strictly heed every prompting.

As a senior apostle and Church president, Thomas Monson would often talk of his childhood, where he portrayed himself as an unruly and problematic child. His addresses were often centered around amusing stories of how he had been lovingly corrected in his youth.

One particularly memorable story was told in April 2013, of a time when he and a friend decided to clear a field by burning the grass, apparently thinking the flames would magically extinguish themselves once the task was complete. Though the story was amusing, the clear warning was that when we attempt to take shortcuts to get to a desired end, things can get out of control. It does not seem coincidental that the Ordain Women organization was founded the following month, eventually leading to the excommunication of its founder, Kate Kelly. Around the same time Kelly was excommunicated, long-time activist John Dehlin was also excommunicated. Dehlin had for years prior to 2013 been suggesting that Thomas Monson was not fit to preside due to increasing dementia associated with his advancing age. Dehlin had also been providing guidance to people on how to transition out of the Mormon faith.

After I learned of Dehlin’s comments, I watched for how President Monson comported himself. I was frankly amazed at how well an allegedly impaired man was able to carry out the public duties of his office. And I became extremely grateful that Joseph Smith appears to have created a leadership  structure prior to his death 1 whereby many individuals together hold the keys, in support of the one individual at the head of the Church who has the right to preside (see D&C 24).

Before Thomas Monson ascended to the position of LDS Church President, he attended a Stake Conference in the Provo Tabernacle while I was visiting family. The theme was Church music and, though I love music, I found the conference suffering in comparison to other conferences of my experience. Then the pulpit was ceded to Thomas Monson, who was merely in attendance because a family member was being advanced in the priesthood. President Monson stood and began to speak, and the conference went from being one of the weaker Stake Conferences in my experience to being one of the best. But being from the East Coast, I became concerned when I saw that the noon hour was approaching with no hint that President Monson’s comments were drawing to a close. The entire audience remained rapt until, several minutes after the hour, President Monson glanced at a clock and proceeded to gracefully bring his comments to a close. Once I was at home dining with family, I mentioned how odd it was for a Stake Conference to run over like that. Everyone else (and there were many “everyone elses”) looked at me strangely and insisted they hadn’t noticed the time.

According to precedent, it is expected that the senior apostle, based on date of being ordained an apostle, will be announced as the next LDS Church President. At this time the senior LDS apostle is Dr. Russell M. Nelson, who was ordained an apostle in 1984. Prior to being called to serve as an apostle, Dr. Nelson had become internationally acclaimed for his skill and advancements in cardiothoracic surgery. Dr. Nelson was ordained an apostle nearly a month before the other individual called at the same April conference, then-Utah Supreme Courth Justice the Honorable Dallin H. Oaks. Dallin Oaks was given the extra weeks to wrap up his judicial commitments before devoting his time to an apostolic ministry.

For many months now my autistic daughter has been praying for Thomas Monson every time it was her turn to voice a prayer. She would plead for him to have strength and lack of pain in these last days before his passing. When I told her President Monson passed away yesterday, she cried out in dismay and began to sob. She repeated again and again that President Monson has been the best President of the Church in her generation.

I am older, and I have been aware of the LDS Church Presidents who have served from David O. McKay to Thomas S. Monson. Each has had their well of strength and deep compassion. Each had their human side that made me glad.

I look forward to the likelihood that Dr. Nelson will succeed Thomas Monson as Church President. I first met Dr. Nelson when he was a new apostle retracing Paul’s journey to Rome. I remember playing my violin at the special missionary conference where he taught us. I remember standing in the EUR chapel in Rome at the fireside he and his wife gave, and how he slipped mid-sentence from speaking English to speaking grammatically perfect Italian (albeit with a Utah accent). And I remember noting when Dr. Nelson used an unusual phrase, rarely learned by missionaries. The emerging disbelief in the room was palpable, and I felt it almost as a wave growing around the perimeter where we missionaries were standing until it reach Dr. Nelson. Once that unseen wave reached Dr. Nelson, he seemlessly switched from Italian to English and his translator resumed his duties.

I talked with some of my fellow missionaries afterwards, and they commented on the strangeness of a gift of tongues involving grammatical error. I corrected them on their misimpression that it had been a grammatical error. Then I talked with a recent convert I had worked with. Marina spoke of being able to understand Sister Nelson before the translator rendered the meaning in Italian.

As for me and my household, we will mourn President Monson. And we will sustain whoever is announced as the new Church President. And when a new individual is presented to us as the newest apostle, we will sustain them as we sustain all who currently serve in that calling.

Click to view the official memorial content at lds.org.

Notes:

  1. Precise details of the leadership structure were not made public at that time, which Wilford Woodruff’s journal suggests was marked by death threats against Joseph and his presumed successor, Hyrum Smith. Various individuals other than the senior apostle attempted to claim they were the proper successor. Hence my use of the term “appears.”
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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

34 thoughts on “Thomas Spencer Monson passed away January 2, 2018

  1. How sweet it is that there is no doubt of the successor to President Monson. There is no political process, no pandering to special interest groups in order to win votes. Are the other members of the first presidency released at this time?

  2. If you click on the image, it will open the news release at lds.org, and in that news release there is a link to an article about succession (note that “successor” is in red).

    It’s a nice explanation written for folks who know nothing about LDS practices and history. Basically, the first presidency is dissolved at the death of the president and the 14 remaining apostles take their ranks in the quorum. Until they formally meet to determine whether to reconstitute the First Presidency, the senior apostle presides.

    The explanatory article leaves it open regarding which apostle will be selected, though obviously past precedent would make selection of anyone other than Elder Nelson rather shocking. But I could imagine a scenario where the quorum decides to reconstitute the First Presidency but are inspired to select someone other than the senior apostle.

    I am reminded of something that happened to my brother on his mission. He and his companion saw that there was a building on fire, and it was clear there were people trapped in the building. Together they ran towards the burning building. But at the door, they each separately felt compelled by the spirit to remain outside.

    In similar fashion it is possible that the spirit could constrain the apostles to advance someone other than Elder Nelson as President. But whatever is done will be done with a unanimnity born of years working together as a team in leading the Church.

    Today as I walked to my office I reflected on the tumult that the Presidency of the United States undergoes every four years, with the many times assassins have attempted to change the incumbent of the office by lethal means. I am so glad there is not tumult in the process of determining the President of the Church (at least not since the 1800s).

  3. We can also be glad that the apostles don’t tweet at each other.

    That said, like Meg I can also envision a scenario where Nelson doesn’t get the nod. He *is* 93. Obviously that’s unlikely, and to be fair he’s a pretty spry 93. And he’s got a great way of telling you you’re wrong while genuinely smiling and loving you–he’s just about impossible to hate.

  4. Patricia, It is good that you think certainty is good, it does have the side effect that we will always the oldest man standing. Men of this age are way past there prime, and have a more than 50% chance of suffering from diementure.
    The church claims that Joseph was exhausted by the first vision, if a man over 90 did ask the Lord for revelation, would he survive the response.

    Personally I would like the 14 to ask the Lord who he would like to lead his Church, and if I were God the answer would be Uchtdorf, because he would have the confidence/trust of more of the members, and may be willing to ask what the Lord wants us to do next. Millenials are 80% leaving, and lots of others too, is that what the Lord wants?

  5. Geoff_Aus,

    You are a bit cute. You forget the instance where Sidney Rigdon was wiped out by revelation (I believe it was in receiving D&C 76) and Joseph was not. Joseph at the time quipped that he was used to it, while Sidney was not.

    It isn’t about physical strength, it is about how often one has “practiced.” And the folks in high positions of Church leadership practice frequently.

    I dare say none of the members of the Quorum of the Apostles would spell in “diementure.” You are talking about dementia, and it is true that factors contributing to dementia increase statistically with greater frequency with advancing age. However simply being wrong-headed appears to be a negative factor that we’ve seen in younger Church leaders, such as my ancestor, Apostle John W. Taylor (who accused his own father of having suffered from dementia when he learned the older John Taylor had left a valuable mine to the “preservation of Zion” rather than to him).

    I have no idea what your basis is for saying 80% of millennials are leaving. The great thing about the Church is that one can always come back. And in LDS theology one has until final judgement to do so.

    If the Quorum of Apostles were to select someone other than President Nelson, I suspect they would select Dallin Oaks, as he is 8 years younger than Russell Nelson and was called at the same time (though ordained a few weeks later). But of course it is theoretically possible that they could call any of the sitting apostles.

  6. “it does have the side effect that we will always the oldest man standing”

    Not true. The next prophet is chosen by seniority, not by age.

    For example, were Elder Nelson to die, Elder Oaks is next in line even though Elder Ballard is 4 years older than him.

    Similarly, Elder Holland is younger than Elder Eyring by more than 7 years, but has seniority over him.

    Elder Bednar is younger than 4 apostles that he has seniority over.

  7. As an aside, I’m always surprised in times like these when we’re all reviewing the seniority order. You don’t really think about it in the day-to-day, but I didn’t realize that Uchtdorf and Bednar were now mid-ranked, or that Holland has the seniority he does.

  8. My understanding is that in current practice the most junior apostles focus on missionary efforts, the middle-ranked apostles focus on the ministry to Church members, and the most senior apostles focus on temple work. Those in the First Presidency have purview over all Church efforts. So if we were to see someone called other than President Nelson, it would likely be one of the senior apostles or one who has served in the First Presidency, as only these have executive experience related to all the three missions of the Church President Kimball articulated decades ago.

  9. That makes a lot of sense. Almost like somebody really smart set this organization up. 🙂

  10. Geoff Aus: I’m just curious. You don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to.
    Do you believe that Joseph Smith Jr was a genuine (authorized/real/true/etc.) prophet of God? Do you believe subsequent presidents/prophets of the LDS church, from Brigham Young through Thomas S. Monson were his legitmate successors, who also held genuine prophetic authority?

  11. It seems to me that the discussion on succession to the president position is of course important but it is also silly to surmise that the Lord “might” throw a curve ball in His established pattern for choosing the next prophet. Sure, it’s fun to speculate and suppose the possibility exists as a test of our loyalty and faith, but even many members and ex-members struggle with accepting the authority of our current leaders and the overwhelmingly patriarchal system and pattern as it now stands.

    The Lord’s church is a house of order and not confusion. Seeing the end from the beginning, He knows whom to call to the apostleship, whom to call home early, and who shall remain to assume the leadership mantle. When the prophet dies, the pattern, without exception, has been that the longest serving apostle becomes the next prophet. That would be President Russel M. Nelson. Each prophet has been carefully trained and prepared for their high and holy calling.

    Just for kicks, I did a little research to extrapolate the length of time from a prophet’s calling to the Quorum of the Twelve until being set apart as President of the Church. Brigham Young had the shortest tenure of 12 years as an apostle but he also was the longest serving President at 30 years. Minus the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, among the other 14 prophets, the mean length of tenure in the Q of 12 is 41 years–the shortest being Harold B. Lee at 31 years, and the longest being Joseph Fielding Smith at 60 years. Pres. Nelson’s tenure as an apostle is 34 years, which falls in line with the apparently minimum experience of 30 years prior to becoming the Church President.

    At 93 years of age, Pres. Nelson is amazingly sharp, spry, and robust. There is no question that he has been prepared for this moment in time to assume the mantle. He was not called home early as other recent apostles have been (Maxwell, Haight, Hales, Packer, Scott, etc.) Not that it matters at all, but I would rather be led by a spry 93 year old with years of apostleship experience than a 75 or 80 year old prophet in withering health or with less experience.

  12. Here’s a nice list to keep handy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_Quorum_of_the_Twelve_Apostles_(LDS_Church)

    It lists the current Q12, plus all apostles called since Joseph Smith, by date of calling/ordination. It includes apostles who were never formal members of the Quorum, having been counselors in the presidency instead.

    At the bottom of the page is a link to a “Chronology” list where you can easily see who was called to replace whomever died.

  13. Part of the chatter about succession has to do with the Papal switch that occurred a few years ago, which got people thinking about the fact that long-established precedent can be changed when beneficial for the organization.

    I think the leadership of the Church is sufficiently staffed at each level that there is no particular need for the President to shoulder a huge load without assistance. There would be no particular reason to pass over the most senior apostle unless the quorum of apostles knows something that causes them to buck precedent.

  14. “I have no idea what your basis is for saying 80% of millennials are leaving. The great thing about the Church is that one can always come back. And in LDS theology one has until final judgement to do so.”

    But why would millennials return to the church? How many of the tens of thousands who have left in the last decade over the church’s hard hearted response to marriage equality have returned?

  15. “But why would millennials return to the church? How many of the tens of thousands who have left in the last decade over the church’s hard hearted response to marriage equality have returned?”

    One could ask how many of the hundreds who left in the 1840s over the church’s hard-hearted rejection of free love (aka spiritual wifey aka illicit intercourse) ever returned. Sometimes it is about holding to God’s course when the world says you’re wrong to do so. I’m sure thousands and even tens of thousands can be accounted as leaving the Church over the heart-hearted relegation of sealing all wives and all children (aka plural marriage) to eternity. Was it wrong for the Church to end solemnization of mortal plural marriages?

    In other denominations it is considered hard-hearted to withdraw membership from adulterers. In the Catholic clerical ranks it was deemed hard-hearted to eject pederasts from ministry. In ever “conflict” one side can claim the other was hard hearted, or a side can justify themselves by claiming they were being merciful.

    In the cacophony of all, one must decide where one stands. Perhaps many Millennials have decided the world is more important to them than the religion of their youth. But that is not an irrevocable decision. It is a puerile faith that claims God must follow man’s understanding.

    And in case those steeped in the rightness of they defection haven’t noticed, those faiths which have attempted to be “relevant” are dying. Only faiths that demand we overcome the world remain vibrant.

    Those who love the world more than their faith are the ones who are moving. It is not for the Tree to uproot itself to follow the crowd to the great and spacious building.

  16. I think you are optimistic, Meg. If people are dying off at one end of the age spectrum and leaving at the other, what are you left with and how long can that endure?

    The fact is millennials have less of their lives and energies invested in the church and are leaving as they approach young adulthood. And there are many middle-aged members who are holding on until their parents die to prevent their defections hurting that older generation.

    You, obviously feel differently, but I think the effective demise of the church has only begun. The first few hundred who left in response to the church’s involvement in Prop 8 did it with great angst and personal turmoil while still faithful families and defecting adult children now process it all more philosophically.

    The Shakers, god bless them, have remained entirely faithful to their tradition and there are still 2 living Shakers. The Shakers have left their mark for good and for grace on American history. We can find lots to admire them for. I guess you’d applaud their steadfastness and I guess I would too but there’s a cost to it and we will all lose a tremendous amount when those 2 valiant women die.

    Time, of course, will tell if the tree that can’t or won’t uproot itself will escape the conflagration at its back or if a convenient revelation will come along as it did in 1978. But, personally, I doubt that even that could repair the enormous damage the church has inflicted on itself.

  17. Hi alice,

    We are talking about the Church that continued to practice plural marriage in defiance of severe national pressure, incarceration, and ultimately confiscation of Church assets. That didn’t eliminate the Church (while the Oneida Community is now forgotten and almost no one knows about the Cochranites).

    I’ve written some thoughts about what happened with the Blacks and priesthood matter. I live in Virginia, where we’ve lived the pain of the forced re-integration. The way America resolved its racial tension was not necessarily the best way, and it doesn’t even appear that the resolution is lasting.

    The proponents of marriage equality have clothed themselves in the garments of the racial battles of the 1960s. They have appropriated that as a way to help moderns feel righteous about embracing something the way they perceive their forebears to have resisted rightness. And people get to have interesting plot lines in TV shows and movies. Silly people, like my autistic daughter, may even think that the majority of folks in America are something other than hetero-normal. The percentage of characters in popular media that are presented to us as other than hetero-normal is far higher than what we find in the general population.

    The marriage equality issue is an issue for some. But that isn’t the thing that dominates the recent reported flight of folks from the Church. The people I know who are struggling are those who think Joseph Smith was an abusive sexual predator, followed by a Brigham Young who codified sexual weirdness. They have convolved the idea of the Church being true to God’s will (within acceptable human variation) with absolute truth being spoken in every instance by every Church leader as truth would be perceived by a modern observer.

    My research indicates that Joseph is grossly maligned, and that the reason he remains malignable is that he wasn’t willing to tell damning stories about those he believed would repent. This includes his brother, William, and dozens and even hundreds of others. Most of these (not William) rewarded Joseph’s hope with lives of extreme devotion to the God they had learned about from Joseph. Brigham’s actions cannot, in my opinion, be properly understood without understanding the profound goodness of Joseph Smith.

    I believe in a God who has a plan to save his tens of billions of beloved children. He doesn’t plan to jeopardize that plan by allowing the Church to be hijacked by a few thousand non-believers with an agenda. Especially when He has a plan for redeeming those few thousand non-believers in time.

    Today I replaced my iPad screen. The cracked screen was itself a replacement from a few years ago. And it looked all new and shiny when I was done. But the screen didn’t respond well to touch. On an iPad, that’s a pretty big problem. So I opened the iPad up again and made sure I had the connectors firmly seated. This accomplished, the iPad is now both shiny and functional.

    In similar fashion, there are those who look like shiny Mormons. They have learned the steps to the dance. But they don’t fully hear the music. Their leads aren’t fully seated in the connection (to use the faulty iPad screen analogy). They aren’t rooted in the Tree of Life that is Jesus Christ and God’s plan of salvation for all mankind. They think that telling themselves they are following a Liahona gives them license to change the moral location of the Tree (rather than realizing that a true Liahona will always lead to the Tree rooted in God’s way).

    I find it telling that you didn’t realize which Tree I was speaking of in my comment. This is not a Tree that will be withered by any earthly conflagration. It is that living bush that remains green despite the fire.

    Marriage equality is far from the most heinous deviation from the moral code of the Gospel. I personally think Manasseh’s worship of Moloch was far more heinous (and that was convolved with the murder of many prophets). But marriage equality is the celebrated deviation from the Gospel’s moral code that is a challenge for our generation. If the Gospel survived Manasseh, it can survive this episode, much as “enlightened” Millennials wish to arrogate to themselves the power to crush that in which they no longer fully believe.

  18. Sorry but that was a bit all over the place and I hardly know what to respond to.

    Wherever our gay sisters and brothers fit in the demographic most Americans have awoken to the fact that they are, indeed, our brothers and sisters and have to be accorded basic civil rights.

    I don’t live in VA or know your history with integration but however well or poorly it was accomplished doesn’t change what our rights as humans and children of god are. They are the same whether we are gay or straight or whatever the color of our skin. Working to make that an operative as well as a legal reality is all of our business.

    Yes, I’m aware that the LDS has been all over the place on polygamy and, actually, given that 132 hasn’t been rescinded and men are still sealed to multiple wives for eternity, continues to be to a certain extent. But, yes, your church managed to change both with respect to the priesthood and polygamy without doing to itself the damage it is presently suffering.

    Did I say that it is solely the church’s intransigence on marriage equality which will be its demise? I didn’t mean to if I did. It certainly resounds with the millennials but people have more reasons that that for leaving, as you well know. Furthermore, however we go around the bush (or the tree if you prefer) the millennials are leaving at accelerating rates while the WWII generation is largely depleted and the Boomers are facing their own mortality. Meanwhile, everyone between the Boomers and millennials is having to face their own questions and the defections of their sons and daughters and grands just like all most of their neighbors are.

    There’s little to dispute in that, Meg. It’s just happening. That’s the point that you were dismissing that I responded to.

    You seem to think the church will recover from this. I think it may persist as a nominal denomination and certainly as a wealthy corporation but the beating heart of it as a vibrant denomination is approaching life support and it will devolve over the next 2 decades. We’ll just have to see what happens.

  19. Ah, alice,

    From this reply it becomes clear that you are not LDS and are simply parroting talking points that come from the “sexual orientation is the same as race” perspective.

    Therefore you don’t and wouldn’t get why people disagree. I don’t know where you are getting your LDS facts from.

    You seem unfamiliar with the fact that it is precisely those religions that are embracing modern social trends that are dying, not those which are remaining true to traditional Christian mores, including honoring the value of heterosexual marriages where the norm is children nurtured by both their biological parents.

    Sorry for the tldr response, but I had supposed you were actually conversant in LDS theology and practice. As you are not, I will take your predictions of imminent doom in light of your ignorance of the organization you are diagnosing.

  20. “Parroting”? “Ignorance”?

    You seem determined to dismiss people so there isn’t any real possibility of exchange. We will just watch what happens over the next 2 decades.

  21. Alice,
    I can’t imagine the kind of person who would frequent a mormon blog to debate how it’s theology needs to be changed to impact member behavior who either isn’t mormon or doesn’t believe it. And then would go on to make a “well see” two decade long prediction. Please consider coming unto Christ and his church first and foremost, or just move along and don’t burden yourself for the next 20 years waiting and watching for his church to fall apart.

    I don’t agree with gay marriage and I’m certainly not hanging out on gay blogs debating with them all about how they’re ruining future generations.

    It’s not like this is even a large general interest blog for you have something cross your path you’re interested in. Seriously, please don’t burden yourselves with the apparently dying faith of others.

  22. Hi alice,

    Feel free to respectfully explain why those words are not accurate, giving credible sources and rationale.

    You may wish to review the comment policy to ensure you are avoiding the trap of being a troll.

    Also, there was a nice thesis written by a couple of non-Mormon officers at the Naval Postgraduate School that examines how Mormons grow an ideology. The thesis highlights the benefits to the Church of maintaining strict standards. If you are interested, I’ll post the link I would find by googling NPS in the M* search bar.

  23. Alice, progressives will always have a cause-of-the-day with which to upend religious institutions, and render them ineffective in their mission. I second Meg’s assertion/observation that churches which bow to the changing winds of social pressure inevitably decline and dwindle in membership.

    While the causes (or sticks) which progressives use to batter churches change regularly, the -real- questions and issues remain the same over ages: Is there a God or Divine Creator/Father? Is there a human soul? DId the soul exist before physical birth, and does the soul continue to live after physical death? Why are souls incarnated into mortal life anyway, what’s the purpose? Which religion is “correct” or the “most correct”, if any?

    As Mormons explain things, the key or crux questions are whether Joseph Smith was a real and authorized prophet of the real God, is the Book of Mormon what it claims to be, and were subsequent church presidents from Brigham Young through Thomas Monson legitimate succesors to Joseph Smith and also real authorized prophets?

    Whether or not same-sex marriage is good or right, and whether or not women should be ordained, are issues that pale in comparison to those questions. Because if there is a God, and if there is a living prophet of God, then that prophet is the legitimate source of making known God’s will on current issues.

  24. Today I witnessed the setting apart of my ‘millennial’ grandson as a member of a bishopric. The biggest problem the temple baptisries have encountered for the past few years was too many young patrons and not enough Melchizedek priesthood members to handle the flood of youth bringing family names to the temple. I count it as significant revelation that Aaronic priesthood holders can perform and witness temple baptisms as young as 16 if they are ordained priests. Much is made of those who leave for various reasons other than simple disinterest, but there is evidence that many if not most quietly return. There has been a recent meme of ‘staying on the Gospel ship’, but I far prefer the real experience of staying with the rock that is not moved by any current.

  25. Two news stories stood out for me in my assorted feeds last week. The first, of course, was the passing of President Monson. This was accompanied by many many commentaries (including on this blog) about how this was a great opportunity for the church to get “current” and embrace modern thinking.

    The other major story in my feed involved the latest craze among silicon valley’s wealthies: Raw Water. Folks are paying 30 bucks a gallon for untreated, unfiltered, unsanitzed water, on the premise that it’s “live” and all-natural and therefore super-healthy.

    I for one am thankful that the church is not, in the modern sense, “current”.

  26. Raw water… [shudder]

    Now I do cultivate my own rooibos-based kombucha. And I am a vocal proponent of aquaponics, where plants are grown in a biotic-rich environment made possible by nutrient-rich water from the fish tank(s). But in each of these biotic-rich situations, proper procedures are (or should be) followed to ensure there is no possibility of pathogens.

  27. Coppins’ responses in recreating some Trudeau Euology-style riffing is right on.

  28. Only one who appears to be a SJW (alice). Geoff_Aus comments from time to time and is apparently in Australia, so I doubt his thoughts were prompted by the NYT thing.

    It helps to remember that the NYT put a lot of skin into the Ordain Women effort, including their 2013 International Day of the Woman series highlighting how “messed up” it was that women were allegedly downtrodden by the Mormon Church. So they were organizationally offended that the LDS Church failed to shift in response to their efforts, given their perception that Mormons are mindless sheep who can’t possibly have a principled position.

    In case alice were still reading comments, I would suggest that someone who is merely developing their perspective based on liberal media and disaffected former Mormons is parroting. Individuals who are making pronouncements based solely on what they get from these same sources and not from studies (at the least) that look at actual Mormon practice and statistics is also ignorant.

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