Three vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was cause for many to wonder and even hope for the possibility of more diversity in the church’s leadership.
I was one of those people.
It seemed to have been set up so beautifully. Leaders have touted that there are more Latter-day Saints living outside the United States, than in. Speakers at General Conference were encouraged to give their address in their native tongue for the first time. Meet the Mormons was released and marketed by the church to show the growing diversity in a church that, whether you like it or not, has not been historically perceived as one that has invited all to come unto Him.
It’s not easy for me to admit that when Saturday afternoon rolled around, my shoulders slumped and a crestfallen sigh hissed from my mouth as the new apostles were announced. Not only were they white. They were all Americans. Not only were they Americans, they were from the Salt Lake area.
Now this is where you can accuse me of being some bleeding-heart-liberal-egalitarian-idealist-apostate who just “doesn’t get it” or doesn’t have a testimony of living prophets. Or maybe you are a well-meaning blogger that has the best interest of the faithful at heart, but whose posts hint at a bit of silliness on the part of those of us who may struggle with this.
I want you to know that I had hopes and visions of a Quorum of the Twelve that resembled the U.N. Nevertheless, with slumped shoulders, crestfallen sigh and all, I raised my hand to sustain those good men.
I want you to know that this hope for more diversity isn’t just influenced by the philosophies of men but from a love for those that, even if in error, we hope could benefit from such diversity.
I want you to know that faith is a choice. It doesn’t and shouldn’t always come easy.
I want you to know that I knelt by my bedside and pleaded with tears in my eyes, for humility, understanding and a willingness to submit to His will even when understanding doesn’t come.
I want you to know that answers came.
I want you to know that I, someone whose questioning you may not understand, walked to school today with Elder Renlund speaking through my headphones and teaching me how to be a sinner who keeps on trying.
I would hope that you would take his advice and allow those of us who run into questions and resistance such as this, to try – To work through them and to exercise. The natural man is a comfortable man. So I hope this post makes you at least a little bit uncomfortable because I surely am.