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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Funeral of Elder Richard Gordon Scott announced/Three New Apostles

The LDS Church announced today that funeral services honoring the life of Elder Richard Gordon Scott would be held Monday September 28. I have pondered who the speakers might be, and I think I have a fairly good idea. President Henry B. Eyring is likely going to be asked to conduct the funeral, as he conducted the funerals for both Elder L. Tom Perry and President Boyd K. Packer. Michael W. Scott, a son of Elder Scott, seems to be the designated spokesperson for the Scott family, so it wouldn't surprise me if he was asked to represent the family at the funeral. Other speakers might be President Russell M. Nelson (since it's common to have the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak at the funeral of his fellow apostles, though obviously that didn't happen with funeral services for either Elder Perry or President Packer), Elder D. Todd Christofferson (who was one of Elder Scott's missionaries), and President Thomas S. Monson. I won't be surprised, of course, if other apostles or First Presidency members are asked to speak, but it seems to be a fairly sensible guess.

My team leader at work, John Thomas, and I were discussing general conference earlier this week. I told him of my predictions, and he said he'd love to follow along. So I got him a copy of them. But Elder Scott died before I could get that to John, so I had to redo my predictions, including the three new apostles, whomever they might be. John talked to me a bit about why I enjoyed making such predictions, and that led to him asking who I thought would be the new apostles. I told him I felt they would all be younger men and that at least one of them would be international. I'm kind of hoping all three will be from foreign countries, but that remains to be seen.

My purpose in telling you all about this is that I have come to a decision. I said earlier I would not be posting any additional speculation or guesses about who the new apostles might be. However, I have had some feelings on the matter that I just had to share.

Before Elder Scott's passing, I had pondered the two apostolic vacancies, and two particular brethren came to mind: Bishop Gerald Causse of the Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Michael John U. Teh of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Both of them are younger, and, in Elder Teh's case, I have a precedent for believing he will one day become an apostle, whether or not it happens this time.

As I prayed prior to the April 2008 General Conference, I had a distinct feeling that Elder Teh would be called as the new apostle. Obviously that didn't happen, but I never have quite been able to shake off the feeling that he will be called this time.

As I pondered additionally who might be called to fill the third vacancy, the name of Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy came to mind. If I'm right, we will get three international apostles who are all under 60.

John asked me if I thought we might get a black apostle this time, as there are two black brethren serving as members of the First Quorum of the Seventy (Elder Joseph W. Sitati, and Elder Edward Dube). I said I didn't think the Church was ready for a black apostle.

If the three men mentioned above are called, Elder Soares would be the first Brazilian apostle and the first from South America, Bishop Causse would be the first French apostle, and Elder Teh would be the first Filipino apostle. Each of them would be historically significant, and any of them might one day subsequently preside over the Church.

I want to make this next declaration very clear: These are just my own thoughts, and should not be taken as gospel truth. While I don't know why the Lord would reveal to me who the new apostles will be before He tells President Monson is beyond me. But feelings like this are not unprecedented in my life.

When the bishop of my ward that had seen me through my Aaronic Priesthood years and interviewed me for my ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood was released, I had a distinct feeling about who the new counselors in the bishopric would be, and I was right. After leaving that ward when I transferred to the Singles' Ward, and several years after my marriage, that ward bishopric was going to be again reorganized. Again, I had a feeling that a particular brother would be called as the First Counselor in the new bishopric, and so it was.

To prove that I am by no means infallible, I will also say that when I knew the General Primary Presidency was going to be released in 2010, I had a feeling that Mary N. Cook, then serving as First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, would be called to be the new Primary General President. Obviously, that didn't happen. And the fact that Elder Teh was not called to the apostleship when I thought he would be says volumes about how reliable my inspiration can be. But the more I think about it, the more these three above named brethren make sense as the new apostles. Now all that remains is to wait a week and a half and see just how right (or wrong) I am about my feelings regarding the identity of the new apostles. Since I recognize my own infallibility, I will by no means be surprised whether or not the above named brethren are called. And whoever the new apostles are, they will have my whole-hearted sustaining vote and prayers. I just wanted to get my feelings on the matter down while I was thinking about it. Time will tell just how right (or wrong) I am. Hope you enjoyed this post. Can't wait for Conference. More to come on the outcome of my predictions as well as the new apostles when such information becomes available. Until I write again, all the best!