Wednesday, December 3, 2008

South America Obsession

Today let me post some of my favorite quotes from a note I published on Facebook. Then I will give a brief discussion of my day.

You really think they have freedom in choosing? Don't ya think its what God specifically wants for his church? I think gratitude is essential whether or not he is white brown or blue. Do you not think that God already knows who it will be? And don't ya think that whoever it is will specifically be the right person to fill that position at that time? No matter his race? If someone ethnic is needed, Monson will be directed to call them. Same with a caucasian.

I think one challenge the church faces in filling the Q12 (cool abbreviation, btw) is that with the church based in Utah, leaders tend to be selected from among those living in Utah--and on many levels this makes sense: these are the people that the brethren are familiar with and are also often the people that can most easily take on the responsibilities of apostleship; their service will not take them as far from their families and communities, and I do think that is significant because they are taking on a life-time calling.

As a woman (and one who doesn't understand why gender should make such a difference in the church), I often find myself having to trust that God knows what he is doing in making most top church leadership positions available only to men. Since I do not oppose such obvious gender inequality (I won't call it unfair because I trust God's judgment-but it is definitely unequal), I feel I also need to trust that God knows what he is doing if he chooses to fill most of the top church leadership positions with men from a certain race, state, or career path.

Having said all that: I would be thrilled to see more diversity as well. Perhaps they can find someone from South/Central America living in Utah and choose him. :-)

oh Jacob, you really believe they choose? I would lov to see the diversity too! but its the Lord who chooses. and whoever is picked will be the right choice my dear Jacob.

I agree with what others have said... President Monson doesn't choose, the Lord does. While it would be cool to have someone from South America, it shouldn't be about where the man is from, but the man that he is.

Yes but as we learn to think more like God we learn to make the same decisions He would make, especially in cases like this. Sure, President Monson has his agency but ultimately the best man for the calling will be the one that is chosen. President Monson will make the selection that God would have him make. This isn't a political matter, apostles are not chosen to make a party look good and more diverse--I honestly believe that where a man is from should have very little to do with whether or not he is called as an apostle. The next apostle will be a man of God, the one that He has prepared for the positon. Ultimately we're all from the same place--are we not all children of God?

People have free agency to choose and act as they please. Why should we argue over other people's choices and criticize them for doing what they feel for themselves correct and acceptable?

I personally dislike negative comments and I feel upset that so many on here are arguing this. It gets them nowhere, breeds more contention, and where contention is, God cannot be.

Just let Jacob choose and act as he pleases and leave it at that. His actions are not going to affect your Eternal Life, but yours might.

Jacob--I couldn't support your views more. I find it fascinating how strongly some people have objected to your prayers for a South American apostle.

Yes: God knows. God chooses. God commands. God will do right.

But isn't this true in every situation? And aren't we commanded to pray anyway? We are told in the scriptures that our Father knows what we have need of before we ask and that He has power to do His own work--and then we are told to pray always, for our needs and concerns and righteous desires.

And so we pray. And when our righteous desire is for over 4 million members to be represented by an apostle chosen from their culture, we pray for that.

One year and almost every summer of my life has been spent in this fantastic country, most of the summers in Utah. 5 years have been spent in South and Central America; 12 years have been spent in various countries in Europe. It's different over there; I've seen first-hand. The church is different and has different needs. The members are different; the investigators are different. We have a man in the First Presidency representing Europe now; he is well-loved there and can connect with many Europeans in ways no man raised in Utah can.

Why criticize the hope that the next apostle called might represent Latin Americans?

And the cream of the crop:

The prophet doesn't have agency in choosing I believe at all he is God's mouthpiece and God will not let him lead him lead the church astray the right person will be chosen or President Monson will cease to be president. And on the thought of issues based on locality, any man help the help of the Lord can receive all insight needed to solve problems that can be solved.

I don't get this. What is going on within our culture that there must be this must tension over an opinion? Gosh. Let's not let this happen. Okay? That's all I have to say about my day.

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