During the previous tours and during this Pacific ministry tour I sometimes look for transcriptions or video of the ministerial message he took to the people. There aren't any. There are only news highlights of only small excerpts of what he says. There are plenty of PR clips, PR images with children, and pictures with civic or government leaders. It almost looks more like a vanity tour than a spiritual or prophetic tour with a message from God.
I did see that he gave one governmental leader, who's a former Mormon, a fancy Book of Mormon with her name embossed. Oh, and like he did to the single mom in Africa, he also gifted The New Zealand Prime Minister a picture of himself and counselors (see caption).
When the early apostles had ministry traveling tours I don't recall any examples of it being a public relations endeavor. It was instead to preach a message and not to point to themselves, give out pictures of themselves, or gain favor with the world. It got them thrown in prison, severely persecuted, or killed. In 2019 the actual message preached seems to be a much less important (sometimes hardly mentioned) part of what the Church Newsroom publicizes of President Nelson's ministry travels. When we do see highlights of the message it's never in full, and it's never anything not already found in any given generic Church produced manual. The focus is definitely on the President himself and his own prestige. What does he say to these governmental leaders? Does he preach repentance? Whatever he's saying it's not producing any of the results early apostles endured.
But that's neither here nor there.
Something did stand out to me on the Church's web page about the recent Pacific Ministry tour. It's something mentioned in another post but it stood out to me again. Something very misleading.
This is the last paragraph from the News Room article on the Pacific Ministry.
The paragraph from the Church Newsroom has a link on the word "sustained" which takes us to the below:
It says President Nelson was named 17th Church President and this was announced on Jan 16th 2018. This special live broadcast was specifically stated to be for the "members" of the Church. Then it says President Nelson was sustained and set apart January 14th. The announcement was 2 days after some sort of sustaining and ordination by a small group inside an upper room of the temple, on a Sunday (Temples are closed on Sundays). Whatever happened, it happened in secret, outside of view of the public, and without any involvement or vote by the members. The members did not even know about the ordination and sustaining, hence the Church had to announce what they had done.
Can you imagine if a POTUS took the office and 2 days later the White House announced it to the people before the people even voted? The country would erupt in fury and cry corruption! That goes against the Constitution. But
Did everyone expect President Nelson would be the new President? Of course. But that's because of process and procedure, not revelation, or scripture. But even still, common consent was required and that requirement was blatantly broken. Voting after the fact just makes the previous rise to power appear legitimate.
On an interesting side note: D&C 107 talks about the First Presidency in a very overlooked verse:
22 Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.Chosen by the body. Clearly that is not how the First Presidency is chosen in our day. The President is the longest living Apostle and his counselors are chosen by the President, not the body. Clearly differing from what we read in the scriptures. It makes sense to uphold with faith and prayers someone you chose. But misalignment with scripture seems to really not matter to most members in 2019 since it's widely accepted and taught that living leaders trump all others.
When the members and press were first introduced to the new counselors I found the setting and alignment with the painting of Christ above President Nelson to be interesting. The locations of the broadcast, pictures, and camera angles are likely deliberate and intended to imply alignment with Christ (similar visual alignments are common in Church pictures, manuals and magazines).
Least you think the above analogy to politics and the President was too distant from how the Church was supposed to propose its leaders and receive a vote of the Church before they grab the position, below is from the D&C Church manual about Common Consent:
D&C 26:2. The Law of Common Consent
Dating from October 10, 1880, when John Taylor was sustained to succeed Brigham Young as prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, each of these occasions has been designated as a formal solemn assembly of the body of the Church to express the voice of the Church.
We will vote by quorums and groups. Wherever you are, you are invited to stand only when requested and express by your uplifted hand that you choose to sustain those whose names will be presented. You should vote only when asked to stand.Goes to show that someone can assume the highest office in the Church with only a few other men with high callings agreeing to make it so behind closed doors. How does that sound to you? Any inklings to unfortunate patterns with power we see in scripture? There is way way more to the topic of succession of Church Presidents but this post is just about this one element.
This has been mentioned before but it caught my eye again as I read about the current Pacific Ministry tour. I reached out to the website and newsroom media relations department and asked if perhaps the wrong date of sustaining was utilized since the Church did not sustain President Nelson until months after the date they use. I didn't receive a reply and likely never will.