Saturday, September 6, 2014

Authentic and Uplifting - Elder Russell M. Nelson

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
I can't help it. It was authentic and uplifting - a smile much like the one above. 

First, third, and fifth Fridays are now my assigned nights for Bountiful Temple service. My Thursday nights are all taken up by Welsh class now. I was there last night and saw Elder and Sister Nelson coming down the stairs from the Celestial room. I was already smiling and just a glance of recognition in the eyes from me curled up Elder Nelson's mouth into a flash of a smile back. He knew I knew who he was. It was a warm smile that quickly went back to serious concentration with the rest of his face to continue helping his wife down the stairs.

LDS Church leadership has been trying to downplay the popularity of themselves. They do not want any "cult-of-personality" even if it's a hard habit for Mormon's to break. They have gone so far as to admit mistakes (President Uchtdorf being very direct about this). They are human. They do make mistakes. They admit the need for constant repentance just like any other human being.

Anonymous D used to work for Church Security and has seen Apostles and Prophets in very human circumstances. I'll save any details for his stories.

Solzhenitsyn's philosophy applies that the line between good and evil is a thread that runs through the heart of every human being. And everyone can chose between good and evil, at any time - even at the extremes. Of course that's no different than the essential message of the Book of Mormon. And that line runs through Elder Nelson's heart. I happen to believe he's pretty big on the good side of that line.

Some spend a lot of time and worry on the mistakes of church leaders. And, as I've said, some go overboard and unrealistically so on the admiration. There has to be a moderately passionate approach somewhere.

That's what I think had a flash of Friday night.

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