Hello, all! As August begins, I wanted to remind all of us that it is the month within which 1/3 of all our current apostles (5) celebrate their birthdays. Any way it's considered, that is monumental, and therefore well worth mentioning.
So, when will each of those birthdays be marked, and how old will each apostle be on those dates? The first birthday coming up is for our youngest current apostle, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, who will reach the age of 62 on Sunday. Just three days after that (Wednesday August 9), Elder Neil L. Andersen will mark his 66th birthday (joining his seatmate in the apostleship at that age; Elder Rasband's birthday is six months follow and preceding Elder Stevenson's). In another three days following (Saturday August 12), the second senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the third overall in apostolic seniority, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, will celebrate his 85th birthday.
Nine days after that (on Monday August 21), our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, will mark the milestone of his 90th birthday. In regards to that, I wanted to note: Insofar as I have been able to ascertain, no plans have been made by the Church for any celebration to mark this milestone. That is not unprecedented: some prophets who are more private (particularly later in life) have chosen to quietly observe such milestones without ceremony. I certainly respect that. Speaking personally, I am just glad that it looks like President Monson will be alive to mark such a momentous milestone.
That brings me to our last apostolic birthday for this month. On Thursday August 24, Elder Robert D. Hales will join Elder Oaks as the second current 85-year-old apostle. As this is merely 23 days away, I don't foresee any issue preventing Elder Hales from observing this milestone. While he has been the apostle among the current group that has struggled the most with health issues (until President Monson's recent difficulties), he has valiantly pushed through his illness to minister to the best of his ability. And I think it is fair to say, without fear of contradiction, that Elder Hales's trials has brought him closer to the Lord, and has allowed him to speak on subjects related thereunto of which he now has personal knowledge.
As I have observed with greater frequency of late, I do not hold with, condone, or support in any way those who style themselves as faithful Church members who are trying to perpetuate the idea that an emeritus status of some kind should be enacted for our prophets and apostles (as previously noted, I have heard 85 floated around as the proposed age for apostles, and 90 for the prophet). I love the fact that this Church is led by Jesus Christ under the direction He gives to men who have been seasoned by age and by a wide variety of unique experiences and circumstances. These men willingly put their lives into the Lord's hands, becoming HIs instruments and being fully committed to serving to the best of their ability until their dying breath. And that is as it should be. Anyone who says anything different is not being moved upon by the spirit of the Lord. It's that simple.
As I close this post marking these milestones, I also wanted to note, FWIW, that the next apostolic birthdays after these 5 will happen back-to-back, about half a month after Elder Hales's birthday. Once September starts, the countdown will begin to the 77th birthday of Elder Quentin L. Cook on September 8, and to the 93rd birthday of the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M. Nelson, the very next day. Apostolic birthdays for 2017 will close out with Elder Ballard's in October, President Uchtdorf's and Elder Renlund's one week apart in November, and Elder Holland's in December. All of those will be the focus of future posts on this blog closer to the time.
For now, thanks for the privilege of your time. Hope this post served to inform and inspire you. Any comments are welcome. Until my next post, all the best to each and every one of you.