The biggest problem with the calling of the new Mormon apostles

The LDS Church’s three newest apostles may have asked the same question when assigned their new positions.

Do they have their reward?

The inspiration/revelation in the LDS Church’s call of the newest three apostles may have been promotions.

The three — Gary E. Stevenson, Ronald A. Rasbund and Gary E. Stevenson — may have received their after they oversaw or were close to church affairs that are questionable but could be viewed as critical to church growth and development.

Those operations are as follows:

Gary E. Stevenson

Stevenson was the church’s presiding bishop since March 2012. A number of controversial business developments have occurred since then. That month, a megamall called City Creek was completed and business developments in Philadelphia and New Zealand were launched and progressed — as was a mini-city nearby Disney World, possible because the church owns 2 percent of all of Florida.

Ronald A. Rasband

Rasband was the senior president of the Seventy, the next-highest church body after the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Reports are that  L. Whitney Clayton influenced at least three recent high-profile excommuncations (though the church’s handbook says such decisions must be local). Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy reported to Rasband, their president. That included Clayton.

Dale G. Renlund

Renlund served in the First Quorum of the Seventy prior to being named to the Quorum of the Twelve. That’s the quorum where Clayton was found.

Rasband was assigned to the Presidency of the Seventy in 2005 and became senior president in April 2009. Stevenson and Renlund served in the First Quorum of the Seventy since 2008 and 2009, respectively, according to the church. Clayton took office in 2008, so each of the new apostles worked with him not just generally, but specifically, and did so starting right around the same time.

Clayton himself now holds Rasband’s position as the senior president of the seventy.

For what it’s worth, there was a secondary issue.

The three are white. They are from the United States. They are from Utah. They are from northern Utah.

Scholars, media, the progressive Mormon community and others thought that the time was ripe for an international figure, particularly of different color, to be called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the highest governing body in the church. (See the Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal pieces for examples.) It could have helped international Mormons feel more welcome, with one or more of their own as their leader(s). It also would have enhanced the church’s image of being global, which it has striven to convey for years.

Gary E. Stevenson, Ronald A. Rasband and Dale G. Renlund anything but fit that bill.

But even the diversity issue aside, were the three new apostles promoted after having to do with controversial operations?


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