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Friday, January 12, 2018

A Note on President Nelson's Appearance at the Funeral for President Monson

Hello again, everyone! While I don't know how many of you may have been able to watch President Monson's funeral services today, I wanted to note something that I found understandably significant. When President Nelson spoke in General Conference last October, he looked vibrant and healthy. During the funeral for his predecessor today, he looked tired, worn, and much older. I would assume that this is simply because he had likely prayed very fervently that President Monson, who was just less than 3 years younger, would outlive him, and with the passing of President Monson and the fact that he was now the senior leader and has yet to go through the process of reorganizing the First Presidency following the death of his mentor. the process of being involved in the final part of President Monson's life and the prospect of the upcoming mantle may have him feeling worn out at the moment.

Since I was born, I have not personally witnessed a time when a younger prophet has died, leaving an older man to succeed him. But it is plain that, for the moment, President Nelson is worn down by the load he is getting ready to bear.  I would, however, anticipate that when he and his counselors meet the press (which will, barring anything unexpected, occur Monday morning), the settling of the prophetic mantle will compensate for any feelings he currently has of being worn down and overwhelmed. I would also anticipate that once that mantle settles, he will be serving as the Church President for at least the next 2-3 years.

As I have previously noted, we have seen varying lengths of prophetic tenures over the history of the Church, and perhaps even more so in recent years. The presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, the last prophet to pass away before I was born, spanned just 6 days more than 11 years and 10 months. Ezra Taft Benson, who died in the summer before my baptism, served just short of 8 years and 7 months.

Howard W. Hunter, who was the prophet at the time I was baptized, had the shortest presidency of all, serving several days short of just 9 months. President Hinckley became Church President a few years before my ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood, and when he died in January 2008, I had been a Melchizedek Priesthood holder for 3 years, and his tenure had lasted the longest of any Church President since my birth, with his death occurring a couple of weeks after he had marked 12 years and 10 months as Church President.

While President Monson was 17 years younger than his predecessor, his nearly 10 year tenure of service saw him taking on less responsibility for the final two years of his life, and him stepping away from active involvement in the day-to-day government of the Church about 5.5 months prior to his passing . As I previously noted, I was married during his time as Church president.

President Nelson becomes the first Church President to outlive his younger predecessor since President Kimball, who was exactly 4 years to the day older than his predecessor (both were born on March 28, with President Kimball's birth in 1895, and President Lee's in 1899).

I just wanted to share these observations to note that, even though the responsibility likely very much weighs on him for now, not just because he has outlived President Monson, I fully anticipate that when he and his counselors (whomever they may be) meet with the press on Monday, the prophetic mantle will have settled on him to sustain him for that task. That has been seen at other times when an older prophet succeeded a younger one (as has occurred previously with Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and Spencer W. Kimball).

And while President Nelson may not have a particularly long tenure as Church President, he has been well prepared to take the mantle through almost 34 years of dedicated apostolic service, the last 2 or so of which have been as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

A Note On President Monson's Funeral

Hello again, everyone! As most of you may be aware, I offered my thoughts earlier this week about the likely speakers at President Monson's funeral services, which were held today. I just now realized why I didn't anticipate President Nelson being the concluding speaker.

For the funerals of Presidents Hunter and Hinckley, their First Counselors were also the Presidents of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in view of their being the next most senior apostles, although in both cases, there was an Acting Quorum President (which was President Packer on both occasions) directing the assignments of the Quorum while the actual Quorum President was serving in the First Presidency.

It makes sense that, for President Monson's funeral service (as was true for President Benson), the Quorum President (which was President Hunter at the time of President Benson's death and President Nelson at the time of President Monson's death) was the final speaker, capping off the tributes to the deceased Church leaders. I will hopefully remember to take that into account in the future.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Coverage of President Monson's Funeral from Mormon Newsroom and KSL/President Monson's Colleagues in the Quorum of the Twelve Offer Additional Tributes

Hello again, everyone! I am posting again now for a few reasons. The first is to inform those interested that additional coverage about the funeral proceedings held for President Monson today can be found on the Mormon Newsroom website, and on that of the Church owned and operated Utah news source, KSL.

Additionally, after the funeral, the Church News also published more extended statements from President Monson's colleagues in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, among them those who had their first experience with reorganizing the First Presidency when President Monson became Church President, and those to whom their apostolic calls were extended during President Monson's prophetic administration. You can find the article sharing those here.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post (which, at latest, will be coming Monday following the anticipated press conference in which the new First Presidency will be presented to and take questions from the media), I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

Summary of President Monson's Funeral Proceedings/Additional Tribute to President Monson Provided By Elder Andersen

Hello again, everyone! The Church News has provided this article to share an excellent summary of the funeral proceedings. What an excellent tribute to the life and teachings of our beloved prophet it was. While much of those addresses focused on personal remembrances, there were also references to the importance of the plan of salvation and the idea that his work continues beyond the veil. Additionally, the Church News has shared this article highlighting talks from Elder Andersen and his wife, among others, which were given at a youth devotional in the Logan Tabernacle. And Mormon Newsroom has released this summary of the funeral proceedings. These are fitting tributes to the life, ministry, teachings, and legacy of our dear prophet. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

President Monson's Funeral Plan Announced

Hello again, everyone! I am back in the late morning hours of Friday January 12 to pass along some information about the layout of the funeral services for President Monson. It appears that President Hinckley's funeral may have been an exception to those for Church Presidents.

With the consent and at the request of the Monson family, President Eyring will conduct the funeral, with Elders M. Russell Ballard and Jeffrey R. Holland giving the invocation and benediction for the services. Ann M. Dibb will represent the family, and we will hear from Presidents Uchtdorf and Eyring, then acting Church president and President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Russell M. Nelson will be the concluding speaker.

The Tabernacle Choir, which was the one assignment for which President Monson insisted on taking personal responsibility, will be singing his favorite hymns for the funeral services, which will include the following: "Consider the Lilies", "O Divine Redeemer", "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd", and "If the Way Be Full of Trial, Weary Not". His son, Clark S. Monson, will give the family prayer, and his oldest son, Thomas L. Monson, will dedicate the grave.

It will be great to hear the talks and music for this conference, and it looks like the Church is taking the advice President Monson often gave, which is that funerals should be short in their duration, with addresses that focus more on the plan of salvation than they do on the accomplishments of an individual.

You can depend on my bringing a report of my observations on funeral proceedings later today. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.