|Left to right: Sister Wixom, President Monson, Presidents Beck, Gibson, and Ochoa|
in front of Scout Chorus, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2011
President Monson and the others were already on the stand before we came in and there weren't that many before us. It is interesting to watch President Monson. I believe by faith and actions of choice and commitment (in spite of my occasional personal failings) that he is the Lord's Prophet on the earth today authorized to exercise all priesthood keys for salvation. Yet there seems to be an institutional interest to present him as a person to whom respect is due without sliding into anything like a "cult of personality." And an 84-year-old man, even in good health, must be protected to some extent. We, like most others in the meeting, were respectful and reserved enough not to "rush" the prophet. After the close of the meeting there were a few who reached out of the aisle as he walked back down the side of the congregation not far from us. And as he stopped and talked or embraced a few, including one woman he kissed on the cheek motivated by some sort of inspiration, the crowd slowly moved towards him. Still, it was only a few who moved forward (or were forward) enough to shake on hand and pose for a picture with him.