Gordon B. Hinckley

Blogs are much more personal than the newsroom.

Reading all these . . .

Steff. Cellista. Ama49. LDSpad. Andrew’sMiracleDrug. Tonya. Summer. Swint. Louis. Canasian. Mark. Robin. Edain. Nylan. Wendy. Tanyaross. John F. David G. Seth. Sam. BCC Admin. Russell. Nate. Janet. Jared. Matt B. Guy. Jeff L. Hollywood. David H. Eric. Chloe. Mike P. Belladonna. Joe. Jana. Bookslinger. J. Max. M&M. Alison. Kim. Emily. David and Ariel. Keryn. Jared. The Monk. Sustainability. Bruce. Mike. R. Gary. Jeff. Sariah. Mary. Christopher. Hanner. Alea. NoSurfGirl. Naiah. Brian. Andrew. Ted. Dan. David. Dan. An Ordinary Mom.

I am just listening tonight.


  1. There’s always a remote possibility John that it won’t be.

    Mormon tradition says that the Apostle who has served longest as an Apostle becomes the next prophet. But it’s only tradition and could be overridden by unanimous vote of all Apostles.

    That said, tradition has a real set-in-stone quality in our Church and somehow, I seriously doubt they’ll break with it.

  2. Actually, Seth, it wouldn’t take a unanimous vote to override that tradition. 11 votes for Monson and one vote not for Monson would stop the appointment from going through. (Or is it 13 votes for Monson and 1 vote not for him? There are now 14 apostles hanging around, twelve in a quorum and the other 2…?)

    The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named. And every decision made by either of these quorums must be by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other—a majority may form a quorum when circumstances render it impossible to be otherwise—unless this is the case, their decisions are not entitled to the same blessings which the decisions of a quorum of three presidents were anciently, who were ordained after the order of Melchizedek, and were righteous and holy men. (D&C 107: 25-29, emphasis mine)

    Also, I might add, that the body of LDS must sustain the appointment, meaning that 51% of us must raise out hands to vote the selected individual in, otherwise, the appointment doesn’t stand. The law of common consent applies equally to the calling and election of the President of the High Priesthood as well as to any other position in the church. But the odds of an apostle casting an opposing vote are probably about the same as 51% of the body casting an opposing vote, namely, nil.

    A final point: the apostles could vote any priesthood holder into that office, whether he was an apostle or not, even whether he was a priesthood holder or not. It is a simple matter to confer the priesthood onto someone, or to ordain an elder a high priest. The latter happens all the time when elders are called to serve in bishoprics and suddenly are ordained high priests. So, in theory (if not in practice), any male member of the church is a potential candidate for this office, but currently only the senior apostle is considered.

    Allison Moore Smith, you make an excellent point. It can’t be Packer.

    john f., I agree with you that it’ll be Monson. I don’t see any apostles who would break from the precedents already established.

    What I personally wonder, though, is what the vote of the average LDS would be, if they were asked to vote for the “most prophetic” of the 14 apostles, or even of all the men in the church that they knew. Would everyone say, “Monson is the most prophetic,” meaning the one most possessed of the spirit of prophecy and revelation? Or would they pick a different apostle, high priest, elder or even an as yet un-ordained member?…

  3. My guess is that there would be a varied response on that question. Certain Apostles resonate with some people more than with others. Part of their calling is to witness to those people whom they alone seem prepared to reach.

  4. “Atheist-Quaker and secular humanist, cultural Shinto-Buddhist-Christian, and former Mormon” John Remy, commenting on the Hinckley article over at GetReligion, said the following:

    The division of power between the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve is also very interesting. In many ways, the President gives up much of the day to day bureaucratic control of the Church (except for pet projects, like Hinckley with the Temple committee and the Perpetual Education Fund) for a more symbolic and representative role (this is not to denigrate this function, as it is vitally important one for a religious organization). As head of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Packer has tremendous influence over the policies and direction of the LDS Church that is comparable to the President/Prophet, if much less visible.

    If that is indeed the case, I suspect that custom will be followed and Monson will indeed be the next LDS President. However, I also think it likely that Monson will then turn around and name Packer one of his two counselors in the First Presidency.

    But I could be wrong.

  5. Individualism within an organization is a difficult thing to achieve, making it all the more worthwhile. The previous discussion on the various merits of individual apostles, and the powerful personality of President Hinckley are testaments to the strength of character developed within the context of service. Adhering to a tradition can be a sign of strength or weakness. It depends on the character of the tradition and the strength of the adherant, virtues that can only be assessed on an individual basis by individual thinkers.

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