Update 4/6/09 - Twelve "Apostates"? Was it just a faux pas at BYU's Daily Universe?
Update 2: Yes it was. ;-)
During President Thomas S. Monson's inaugural press conference following the death of Gordon B. Hinckley in early 2008,
Does it matter that 12 white guys, 11 of which graduated from Utah universities, comprise the Quorum of the Twelve? It shouldn't.a member of the press asked what the leadership would do to change the perspective that Church leaders are just a bunch of white men from Utah.
The choice of Neil Anderson to the Quorum of Twelve did nothing to change the suspicions of people who are suspicious of such things. I'll admit that this same thought crossed my mind yesterday. I'll specifically admit that I thought "Another white guy?" The thought has probably crossed several people's minds, in and out of the church.
Several commenters to the Salt Lake Tribune article announcing Andersen's call were very underwhelmed at the announcement. One said
What a surprise! They chose an old white guy of northen European descent! Talk about daring!Another opined
Another whitie gets inducted into the Mormon hierarchy. Ho-hum, yawn, booooriiing. The Mormons continue to keep a very white face in what it claims to be a worldwide organization. Don't know how that is supposed to appeal to anyone outside those parameters...Despite its caucasian-ness, the quorum is developing something of an international flair. Andersen, specifically, has spent ten of the last twenty years outside of the United States. Of a recent experience in Colombia, Andersen made what I think is a very important observation:
It was amazing to see the church totally without North Americans there.In one week there on Church businsess, Andersen encountered exactly one North American. Which is a strong indication that in most places in the Church white men no longer (need to) dominate Church leadership.
Race and skin color seem to still make a huge difference in today's world. The call of Neil L. Andersen as the newest Apostle is a subtle reminder that these things shouldn't matter.That is a healthy development from the perspective that the Church, as prophesied, is indeed filling the whole earth.
Does it matter that 12 white guys, 11 of which graduated from Utah universities, comprise the Quorum of the Twelve? It shouldn't. Besides, it's only a matter of time before an increasingly cosmopolitan Church becomes so represented in its church leadership. The Quorums of Seventy are beginning to look a lot more racially, nationally, and culturally diverse already.
A few years back, total Church membership outside the United States eclipsed that inside the U.S., indicating that the LDS diversity juggernaut, if it may be called such, will not be stopped. But could it perhaps be for now that, through the appointment of Elder Andersen, Jesus Christ is trying through revelation to get people to overcome the hangup of thinking that race and skin color matter?
I think, just like the announcement in 1978 allowing worthy black males to hold the priesthood, that the calling of non-white males to the Quorum of the Twelve will occur on the Lord's time table.
President Boyd K Packer reminded the men of the Church in last night's General Conference priesthood session:
Do not fall into the trap of feeling inferior about...your height or your weight...or your skin color or your race. You are a son of God. You lived in a pre-mortal existence as an individual spirit child of Heavenly Parents.Race and skin color seem to still make a huge difference in today's world. The call of Neil L. Andersen as the newest Apostle is a subtle reminder that they shouldn't.
Someone reminded us yesterday in General Conference that the LDS Church, although it's like most other churches in proclaiming that it is the only true church, is one of the very few that does NOT proclaim that everyone else is going to hell.
Skin color quotas don't matter. Divine ancestry does. And we all have a claim to divine ancestry.
Update 4/6/2009: Someone from the BYU Daily Universe made either a huge faux pas or was trying to be very sneaky. Here's what the Daily Universe said in apology:
In printed copies of Monday's Daily Universe, due to a spelling error in a photo caption, the word "apostles" was replaced with a different word. The Daily Universe apologizes to the Quorum of the Twelve and our readers for the error.
Read the caption carefully on the picture below.
Update 2: In the last few minutes, the Daily Universe has come out with this (much better) explanation. Which almost confirms my suspicion (I suspected aloud to co-workers that someone errantly accepted the first word that came up on the editing software’s word-completion list). Here's an excerpt from the explanation:
“Our copy editor in charge of the front page, who was under deadline pressure, was using spell check on her page and had misspelled the word apostle...One of the first options that came up on InDesign’s spell check suggestions was the word apostate. Unfortunately that’s the one she clicked on..."Related Articles:
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