Newest Apostle


mikbone

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I remember when new apostles were not called until general conference where they were sustained by the Church.  Under such conditions many thought that sustaining was like a vote or an election by the membership.  I appriciate the way they are currently called - making clear that our sustaining vote is not a means of expressing our choice but rather our aproval and alignment with G-d's choice.

 

The Traveler.

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Ah yes, this guy.

 

Big fan of his quite plain spoken, transparent, no-punches-pulled direct addressing the subject of abuse.  I've been close to quite a number of people who had, at one point in their lives, never heard such things.  For like, years and years.  Even when asking leaders or parents for such things.  Or heard allusions to such things hedged in wishy-washy language about accountability, or dismissive talk about duty to forgive.

Consider my arm pre-raised in sustaining.

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"As a senior leader of the Church, Elder Kearon will serve under the direction of the First Presidency and lead a growing, global Latter-day Saint membership of more than 17 million people who speak more than 180 languages."

 

I'm sure Elder Kearon is a good man.  But reflecting on the above sentence in the Church News, I think a nod to the vast membership of the church in other countries, for a leadership post such as this, would have been a better choice.  Elder Kearon is just another upper middle class White guy, that only can ever partially understand the problems of the majority of Saints who live outside the US.

 

Is there no one else ready????.

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49 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Is there no one else ready????.

Dunno, not my job description to know.

But, if you look through the history of apostle appointees, the vast majority come from the Presidency of the Seventy or Presiding Bishopric.  All of these men look distinguished and bright eyed.

Im not sure that we should be applying affirmative action policies to the Lord…

Calling the Lord’s anointed

50 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

just another upper middle class White guy

is a bit of a slur.

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Baptised in 1987 and General Authority by 2010. That might not be so uncommon in Latin America Area where the church continues to grow so rapidly but I suspect its not all that common in white western countries. 

Not that I keep a close track of these things but off the top of my head I can't recall any apostles in my life time who came into the church as converts in their mid-20's. 

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2 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

"As a senior leader of the Church, Elder Kearon will serve under the direction of the First Presidency and lead a growing, global Latter-day Saint membership of more than 17 million people who speak more than 180 languages."

 

I'm sure Elder Kearon is a good man.  But reflecting on the above sentence in the Church News, I think a nod to the vast membership of the church in other countries, for a leadership post such as this, would have been a better choice.  Elder Kearon is just another upper middle class White guy, that only can ever partially understand the problems of the majority of Saints who live outside the US.

 

Is there no one else ready????.

It’s a fair question. I’m optimistic that future apostles will represent the global church as well. I’m sure there are qualified men of all different backgrounds and education levels who God can call to lead the church.  

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4 hours ago, LDSGator said:

It’s a fair question. I’m optimistic that future apostles will represent the global church as well. I’m sure there are qualified men of all different backgrounds and education levels who God can call to lead the church.  

All who are called to the holy apostleship were foreordained in the premortal world to be such. So while there may be many worthy and able that alone doesn't qualify them. We might wonder about why and where those individuals were sent to earth but obviously only God knows that.

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10 hours ago, askandanswer said:

There are 12 men in the Quorum of the Twelve. One is of German/Austrian background, another has a Chinese background and the newest has a British background. That's one quarter of them

Elder Uchtdorf was an airline pilot, Gong grew up on the SF Peninsula, a bastion of white upper middle class values, and its obvious that Kearon grew up upper middle class from a first world country.  All these people never really lived or even saw a third world lifestyle.

 

I'm not advocating for affirmative action at all.  If people are not ready for the responsibility of the Apostleship so be it.  But if we want to be truly a World Wide Church, maybe a training program would be in order to get people ready.

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19 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

"As a senior leader of the Church, Elder Kearon will serve under the direction of the First Presidency and lead a growing, global Latter-day Saint membership of more than 17 million people who speak more than 180 languages."

 

I'm sure Elder Kearon is a good man.  But reflecting on the above sentence in the Church News, I think a nod to the vast membership of the church in other countries, for a leadership post such as this, would have been a better choice.  Elder Kearon is just another upper middle class White guy, that only can ever partially understand the problems of the majority of Saints who live outside the US.

 

Is there no one else ready????.

I trust God knows what He's doing.  I'm not interested in demographic pandering just for the sake of it.

 

29 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

 

I'm not advocating for affirmative action at all. 

It certainly reads that way to me.

 

Edited by Grunt
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36 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Elder Uchtdorf was an airline pilot, Gong grew up on the SF Peninsula, a bastion of white upper middle class values, and its obvious that Kearon grew up upper middle class from a first world country.  All these people never really lived or even saw a third world lifestyle.

 

I'm not advocating for affirmative action at all.  If people are not ready for the responsibility of the Apostleship so be it.  But if we want to be truly a World Wide Church, maybe a training program would be in order to get people ready.

Take a look at the person, not the skin color. 

Remember, we had a retired surgeon as head of the church going into a pandemic...

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52 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

I'm not advocating for affirmative action at all.  If people are not ready for the responsibility of the Apostleship so be it.  But if we want to be truly a World Wide Church, maybe a training program would be in order to get people ready.

The training program is in place.  You just don't recognize it.

Be a good person.  Follow the recommendations of the Lord.  Be active in the Church.  Accept callings as they are offered.  Do well in those callings.  Help your fellow man.  Learn how to wield the spirit and move people with your words, actions, and example.

With each calling that you perform well, you will be given callings with more influence and direction / leadership with greater stewardship.

Thats why the Apostles usually come from the Presidency of the Seventy.

Edited by mikbone
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20 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Elder Kearon is just another upper middle class White guy, that only can ever partially understand the problems of the majority of Saints who live outside the US.

Is there no one else ready????.

So, Elder Kearon is incapable of understanding problems of people different than he is, just because he's an upper middle class white guy?  How did you come to that conclusion?

Do you even know anything about him other than his intersectionality creds?  Prejudiced much?

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1 hour ago, mrmarklin said:

But if we want to be truly a World Wide Church, maybe a training program would be in order to get people ready.

What do you think the missionary program is about?  I'll give you a hint: Missionaries rarely are the reason why people convert.

Edited by Carborendum
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I think the complaint isn't that Kearon isn't a good person, but that it appears that the Church has a bias towards the prosperity gospel and promoting the idea of a prosperity gospel.

This comes from the idea that starting with Bishops a majority of those called are almost always from the Upper or Upper Middle Class.  If a ward is not part of a wealthy area, the Bishop is normally one of the wealthier members of the Ward (so, even in poverty stricken areas, a Bishop may still be poor, just not as poor as some of the poorest of the ward).   This isn't ALWAYS so, but it has a strong enough trend that even those beyond the church notice that the leadership of the church seems to be a bunch of wealthy people.   The wealthier and better off you are, the higher the position in the church.

The Path to being a General Authority seem to come from three directions.  You are either rich and powerful to begin with, you are part of the CES system and have connections, or you are related to someone notable.

Some try to pooh pooh this idea, but ignoring the trend and HOW IT IS SEEN by others does not make this problem of perception go away.

This brings up the other idea I think that was found in the OP.  When all you select are people from a certain type of background (in this case, mostly White, Upper class, Men) your leadership tends to have no idea about what others lives are like.  They have no idea what it is like to grow up or live in poverty.  They have no idea what it is like to be a minority among the white majority.  They are insensitive to problems and desires of the common man (or women). 

If we use this as an example, a way to see how this reflects on the church is the ACTIVE membership and how many are actually joining the church.  The church has stopped releasing official numbers in general making it hard to know what the membership is like, but reduction of stakes and wards and other indicators seem to show that baptisms are extremely low these days as well as active membership being a small fraction of what the full membership is reported (so, something like 17 million members, but only 7-8 million are actually active...etc...etc..etc).   By losing touch with the problems of those who are lower classes and not part of the ruling class, you tend to not be able to speak to them or understand WHY they may not want to join the church or not want to be active.  Others, who are not part of that group may feel that they are not represented amongst the leadership of the church.

This is what I understand by the comments that I hear regarding the composition of the General Authorities of the Church and how some perceive it when the comment on this.  Is this a correct understanding? 

Well, I have to admit I am probably also part of the problem to a degree and thus may not be able to frame it entirely accurately.  I'd probably fall into the Upper Middle class dynamic as well as being a White Male.  This means, that I also may not fully understand the complaint, but I HAVE tried (as I've tried to explain how I understand it above).  I also sympathize having seen this type of item in action.

I can't say I have an explanation to every question.  I can't give a satisfactory answer at this time to such a query.  That said...I DO have some things to point out...

MY COUNTER

When the Lord was alive he chose from People he knew to be his leaders.  At least two of the Apostles were his brothers (so, direct family).  It is probable that Peter was a family friend and that most of the others were those he already knew before he started his ministry.  In this case, many of them probably were ALSO part of his social and economic strata. 

Did this make him blind to the needs of others or to what was needed to be taught?

I would argue this did not diminish the Holy calling that the Savior or his Apostles had.  The tools they had were utilized to the fullest they were able to do, and in such were led by the Spirit, the Father, and Revelation in how to proceed in teaching and establishing the religion of their day. 

This same idea extends to the Apostles today.  They can only assign those that they are familiar with.  If they do not know you exist, or are not familiar with you, how can they judge on whether someone would be a good fit.

Some could say the spirit, but we also know that when given choices we are to try to make the best choice possible and the best decisions possible and THEN go to the Lord and ask if he is okay with it. 

I think they try to do this today, and it is after they approach the Lord with the question, it is then that they are guided by revelation on whether that is a good or bad choice.

This doesn't negate the holy and divine calling each of them receive in serving the Lord.  It is that, just as we are, they are meant to work and do as much as they can themselves and THEN ask the Lord.  He then gives them revelation on how to proceed. 

In this way, each of the Apostles (and the leaders of the Church) are divinely called through revelation after prayer and diligence on the part of our Church Leaders.  As such, they are each divinely empowered to lead the church and to fulfill their callings they have been given.

Edited by JohnsonJones
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23 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Elder Kearon is just another upper middle class White guy, that only can ever partially understand the problems of the majority of Saints who live outside the US.

The church doesn't practice racism.  I find the notion that only an [insert color here] person can truly "understand the problems" of [insert color here], to be one of the more despicable false deceptive notions humans believe. 

 

3 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Elder Uchtdorf was an airline pilot, Gong grew up on the SF Peninsula, a bastion of white upper middle class values, and its obvious that Kearon grew up upper middle class from a first world country.  All these people never really lived or even saw a third world lifestyle.

The church doesn't practice class warfare either.  The notion that only a person from a certain economic group can "truly understand the problems" of that economic group, is similarly despicable and false.

 

The straight church leaders can "only ever partially understand the problems" of LGBTQ folks.

The male church leaders can "only ever partially understand the problems" of women.

The church leaders who don't have criminal records can "only ever partially understand the problems" of folks who did time behind bars.

The church leaders who have never abused spouse or offspring (or been abused) can "only ever partially understand the problems" of abusers or the abused.

The church leaders who have never suffered a mental illness can "only ever partially understand the problems" of those who have.

 

PHOOEY!   What a bunch of absolute hogwash!  Identity politics, class/race/gender warfare, notions of 'white privilege', and all the other bits of popular nonsense blowing through our culture, have no place in this church.   Shared experience is helpful, useful, important.  But it's hardly critical.

Here's the extent to which the church wishes to be associated with the current cultural winds of Diversity/Equity/Inclusion: 
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/diversity-and-unity?lang=eng
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/racial-prejudice?lang=eng
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/unity?lang=eng

3-part series:
https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/unity-in-diversity
https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/citizenship-and-conscience
https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/people-and-place

 

Edited by NeuroTypical
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3 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Elder Uchtdorf was an airline pilot, Gong grew up on the SF Peninsula, a bastion of white upper middle class values, and its obvious that Kearon grew up upper middle class from a first world country.  All these people never really lived or even saw a third world lifestyle.

 

I'm not advocating for affirmative action at all.  If people are not ready for the responsibility of the Apostleship so be it.  But if we want to be truly a World Wide Church, maybe a training program would be in order to get people ready.

Before he was an airline pilot, Elder Uchtdorf was a refugee, twice. I'm not going to look up the talks but there has been more than one occasion when he has spoken about his experiences as a refugee in post- World War 2 Europe. My guess is that as a pilot he also flew to one or two third world countries and neither of us can make an informed guess as to what actions he took to become acquainted with the countries he spent 20 years or more flying to. 

As I write, there are maybe a hundred or more senior church leaders around the world receiving training in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and Central and South America as Area Authorities and members of Area Presidencies. I can't think of a more effective method of training. 

I suspect that most, more likely all apostles and Area Presidents receive correspondence every day from members all over the world sharing very detailed accounts of their troubles and despair and providing personal, close up accounts of the things they struggle with. And then this understanding they get from reading some of this material every day is further reinforced through their frequent travels when they go out and meet and talk with local church leaders who know what is happening in their congregations. You cannot be in a senior leadership position over a period of decades without becoming intimately acquainted with the ordinary lives of those you lead. 

Presiding Bishop Claude Gausse is another example of a non-American senior church leader. He is the third non-American Presiding Bishop we have had. Yes, he comes from a white middle-class background, but he also comes from a background where the church was small and struggling during his formative years. 

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54 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

PHOOEY!   What a bunch of absolute hogwash!

Amen! And thank you!

Either Jesus Christ leads this Church or he doesn't.  If he does, nothing else matters.  Nothing.  Have faith in Christ!

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16 minutes ago, zil2 said:

Amen! And thank you!

Either Jesus Christ leads this Church or he doesn't.  If he does, nothing else matters.  Nothing.  Have faith in Christ!

Indeed...

If you don't like how Christ is picking his leaders then tell him next time you talk tell him...  Vent to him... get it all out...  He will listen... He is unlikely to change how he does things.. but he will listen.  And you will know to talked to the one and only person who can make a difference in the matter.

 

 

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2 hours ago, mikbone said:

There are lots of Churches that allow the patrons to vote for the clergy.

That might be an option…

I am opposed to suggesting that those who struggle with anything in the Church go away - that is not Christ's way:

Quote

3 Nephi 18:25 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.

...

30 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood.

...

32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.

We all struggle with different things.  We should pray for and minister (teach the gospel) to those who struggle.

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