Thoughts on the new Presidency

With a 93 year old prophet, changes in the presidency make sense.

First, Elder Uchtdorf is younger and more capable of traveling. He especially can benefit the members in Europe and Russia with his experience.

Pres Oaks, as second most senior apostle, will benefit from the experience of being in the presidency. Being almost a decade younger than Pres Nelson, he likely could be our next prophet. His experience in law and education will be an asset over the next many years.

Of course, Pres Eyring will continue providing continuity. He is now 2nd counselor, probably for deference to seniority among the apostles.

These three have served together a long time. They know each other, respect one another and work well together. They will provide a unified direction for us. Elder Uchtdorf enhances this unity by humbly stepping back into the Quorum of 12, and sustaining the new presidency. That is the mark of a true disciple of Christ.

I look forward to the inspired direction they will lead us in?

Your thoughts?




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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

10 thoughts on “Thoughts on the new Presidency

  1. I think Elder Uchtdorf is probably super excited to jump back into the trenches. I do hope that the big assignments Pres. Nelson mentioned he’d already been given are in Europe and Russia. The Russian saints have been heavily burdened with Putin’s clamp down on religions that are anything but the Pravoslav Church. I know that the Russians are also pressuring their former satellite states, Bulgaria for one, to pass similar laws restricting religious freedom. I remember hearing an interview he’d given a few months ago and one of the things he mentioned was that when he was called into the presidency of the 70s, they had to move to Utah, and while they were happy to do that, they were a bit sad to leave Germany and all of their friends and family behind. So maybe? Anyway, it was a great day all around.

  2. President Nelson is an amazing man and will lead the Church with his great ability to persuade us to live righteously. His Counselor, Elder Oaks, has an extraordinary legal mind and is a great speaker in the Church. Elder Eyring has all of the necessary talent, a scientific mind, and humility to continue to inspire us.

    Elder Oaks is the only Church leader to whom I ever wrote directly. My wife and I were called as senior missionaries overseas. She was immediately assigned her new duties, but I was left with no assignment for weeks as the mission president was unable to decide what job he wanted me to accomplish. Elder Oaks did not answer my plea for help directly but asked a local Church leader to interview me. I was told to be patient and that my problem would soon be resolved. In a few days, the Mission president must have gotten the message and I was given a difficult, but a satisfying calling. I”m sure that Elder Oaks made it happen.

  3. (Not aimed at Rame, but at other readers): Please stop with the “Elder Uchtdorf was demoted” ridiculousness. We need to get away from the idea that being in the First Presidency is somehow “higher” or “more important” than being an apostle. I understand why people think that way because people think of worldly titles when they think of callings. When a counselor to the bishopric serves for six years and then goes back to being a teacher in the nursery, do we think they are “demoted?” Obviously not. They are reassigned after years of service. For some people, it is a reward to not have to wake up at 5 a.m. for bishopric meetings. The same general principle applies to members of the FP. Elder Uchtdorf will continue to speak in General Conference and will still be a visible leader of the Church. He was not demoted. Get that thought out of your head. Please remember this quotation from J. Reuben Clark: “In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one takes the place to which one is duly called, which place one neither seeks nor declines.”

  4. I was not aware that the call to the First Presidency was the reason the Uchtdorf family had moved to the US, but that makes sense.

    I thought that the change in the counselors was a beautiful illustration of humility in the service of our God. Elder Uchtdorf clearly does not see his position change as more than a change of assignments, and Elder Eyring also clearly sees filling the role of second counselor rather than first counselor as a change of assignment, not a demotion. What wonderful examples they are to us, to simply serve!

  5. I agree that Pres. Uchtdorf was not “demoted”, but I can’t shake this very sad feeling, that I fear he was given other things to do because Pres. Nielson viewed Elder Uchtdorfs popularity and leanings as being a threat. Don’t know that that is the case, but I fear….

  6. I was somewhat surprised to see Pres. Oaks called into the 1st presidency, since the 2 former counselors were both in good condition. Looking back to David O. McKay in the 60s to today, it should be seen as part of a fairly long standing pattern.
    When a church president is making changes to the 1st presidency and his likely successor is know, then that apostle is called to serve as a counselor. President McKay added the much healthier JF Smith to the 1st presidency once his health declined in the later 60s. President JF Smith called the much younger President Lee. President Lee and President Kimball were both in their 70s and the likely successor was not clear when they reorganized the first presidency. President Benson retained President Hinckley, who was at that point likely to be a long-term successor given the relative age and health of Presidents Romney and Hunter. President Hunter and Hinckley retained their obvious successors in the first presidency. With President Monson, any one of 7 apostles from President Packer to Elder Holland were possible successors. There was no way to be sure, so President Monson had great freedom to call more junior counselors.

  7. Geoff, I have written a post about Elder Uchtdorf being “demoted” that will publish today in a short while. I feel like I’ve addressed this issue in my post. I’ll forward it on to you when it goes live.

  8. Though 10 of the 17 Church presidents had never served as a counselor in the First Presidency (Pres. Nelson included), it is obviously not a requisite toward becoming a Prophet. Thus, to say that Pres. Oaks, given his position in the Qof12, needs First Presidency “training wheels,” so to speak, making him a logical, even sensible, choice, as many are saying, is inaccurate. For sure, he brings many talents and abilities to the table, that are much needed and will be a boon to the Church in the years to come. We might even say, as was said of Uchtdorf, that he, Oaks, is uniquely qualified for his calling here and now and for his pending assignments that will require his legal, judicial, and spiritual expertise.

    I think many members see Oaks has somewhat hard-nosed, direct, doesn’t beat around the bush, a by the book type of leader. He often is assigned to tackle the difficult subjects in general conference. This will be an opportunity for Millennials to get to know him better and to trust his voice if and when he transitions into the next phase, guiding the Church through an even more tumultuous landscape than we now face.

    Not only was there was a palpable and comfortable camaraderie between him and Pres. Nelson, but from the press conference, it was apparent to me that Oaks is the most eloquent, thinking on his feet, speaker of the Presidency. Not taking away anything from Pres. Nelson and Eyring, but I think Oaks will be the “face” of the First Presidency, like Uchtdorf was, and like Hinckley was before him.

    Anyone who sees Uchtdorf’s removal as a “demotion” has no experience in church leadership. Maybe it was McConkie (not sure who) who said that in Church callings we are neither promoted or demoted; we simply move around. I have had the experience of being removed as a counselor in my branch presidency to teach Gospel Doctrine, and then years later I was recalled into the branch presidency. These were the right moves at the time. I never felt demoted or promoted. And I am absolutely certain Uchtdorf doesn’t either. He actually now has more freedom and leeway to maximize his talents in his current calling, especially as the church grows ever faster outside the U.S.

  9. I still remember the feeling of spiritual confirmation when President Monson became president. President Hinckley had been the first prophet of my adult life, and I really loved him and I was nervous about the transition because I hadn’t really felt a special connection to President Monson before. How wonderful it was to come to know him.

    The spiritual confirmation this time was different, I think mostly because I didn’t go into it with as much apprehension. But it had the same sweetness and inner peace. I’m struck by the rushing forth of the spiritual confirmation on the membership. I mean the social curiosity and speculation giving way to that personal and inner feeling of certainty, and even a mental “Oh, of course!” It’s almost like I forget what it felt like before I found out. Like how I feel about my children, not being able to remember when I didn’t know them.

  10. El Oso and Camerdu, you guys appear to think that the decision of who his counselors were going to be was entirely President Nelson’s.

    I know that Bishops are inspired (prompted, told…, however you want to say it) by the Lord as to who to call as their counselors. I believe the same holds true all the way up the leadership chain. It may be a “study it out, and submit an option for approval” type of revelation, or it may be a “just call so-and-so” more direct kind of revelation.

    The Lord leads His church through revelation. The mechanics and procedures of revelation can vary by instance. But just as the Spirit can whisper to a Home teacher to “call/visit so-and-so”, so is everyone, and especially leaders, privy to revelation/guidance in the fulfilling of their stewardships. God is not a respecter of persons, so the over-arching principles of revelation apply to all.

    As far as the Q12 and FP are concerned, I believe every one of them is exactly where the Lord wants them.

    If dufuses like me can receive inspiration/promptings/revelation (not that I always do, and not that I always obey, but stil…), then, at least, surely prophets and apostles do.

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