Fantasizing about apostles

October 2, 2007    By: Matt W. @ 12:00 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

I admit it, when I first joined the church, I fantasized about apostles. Their names were Darius Gray and Truman G. Madsen. I fantasized about when they would become apostles, and how great that would be. Now, I’ve grown up a bit since then, and I am somewhat skeptical that Truman is young enough to make it into the 12, or that Brother Gray is in good enough health, but somewhere deep inside, I still have the fantasy of it, I guess. Perhaps it is wrong, But it’s a way I guess I honor these men for the amazing spiritual gifts they’ve given me.

Who’s your “fantasy” apostle?

81 Comments

  1. Apart from me?
    Jonathan Stapley or John Fowles. Failing that, Joseph W.B. Johnson.

    Comment by Ronan — October 2, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

  2. Marlin K. Jensen (which is a fairly likely possibility). The only condition is that he is also able to remain in his current position as Church Historian and Recorder.

    Comment by Christopher — October 2, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

  3. Ever since I read the introduction (or was it the first chapter? It’s “The Atonement Isn’t Just for Sinners” one) to Bruce Hafen’s _The Broken Heart_ I’ve hoped he was make it into one of the big seats.

    Comment by terceiro — October 2, 2007 @ 1:20 pm

  4. At first blush I always thought Hugh Nibley and Orson Scott Card would be awesome, but then I realized that they would cause divisiveness like McConkie did, for the opposite reasons. At this point, I just hope that we get intellectually friendly prophets who have no desire to “dogmatize” or “creedalize” the church.

    Besides, the value I see in great writers like Nibley, Card, Ostler, Terry Warner and others is that they have the time to write and tend to those things of the mind that an apostle would not have.

    Comment by Kent — October 2, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

  5. Going by quality of book: Tad Callister wrote my absolute favorite book on the atonement *The infinite atonement”

    I think he’s very Jeffrey R. Holland-esque. Which in my estimation, makes him awesome.

    Comment by Ryan — October 2, 2007 @ 1:41 pm

  6. I had a bishop in a singles ward who I thought would make a wonderful GA. Of course, he has never been called. Prior to getting married, I had a bishop who I thought would not make a good GA. He is now serving in the 70.

    Thankfully, the Lord is in charge of calling 70s and Apostles.

    Comment by Brian D. — October 2, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

  7. I think it would be great if someone who had proven they could excel in a leadership capacity in a large bureaucratic organization like a university or a large corporation of some kind got called…

    Comment by Geoff J — October 2, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  8. Geoff, This is Fantasty Apostling, and like fantasy football, owners and coaches are irrelevent. :)

    It’s all about who we think would look good on the field.

    (Maybe I should have put Steve Young on my list… Nah. I’m still the only person on the planet who is mad at him for replacing Joe Montana.)

    Anyway, Ronan’s pick #3 definitely touches at my sensitivites the most. Good pick, ya brit.

    (and who is Tad Callister? today is the first i heard of him ,and now twice in one day…)

    Comment by Matt W. — October 2, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

  9. Hmmm… I don’t get your joking response to my joking comment Matt. I guess that makes us even.

    Comment by Geoff J — October 2, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

  10. I’d like to see Marlin K. Jensen or Truman G. Madsen, although I’d be blown away by surprise if it was Madsen. I think Jensen is the one of the most likely candidates.(I feel apostate even speculating on this)ha ha, and Jeffery R. Holland is my guess for First Presidency.

    Comment by Gunner — October 2, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  11. Geoff,

    Clearly that is the reason he’s up at Rick’s. It is a waste of talent otherwise. The Church had to get him before Harvard made him President.

    Comment by a random John — October 2, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

  12. I fantasize about Thomas Griffith all of the time (alas he is a federal district judge and I haven’t heard about him stepping down recently..). While he was my stake president at BYU he completely and utterly revolutionized my understanding of the gospel. I pine and long for him to have the oppurtunity to revolutionize the rest of the church as well.

    Comment by Katie — October 2, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  13. Mitt Romney, please.

    Comment by Bill — October 2, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

  14. I think we are long overdue for another swearing apostle, but I don’t know where to turn.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 2, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

  15. 12 J. Golden’s!

    Comment by Daylan — October 2, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

  16. If the Lord himself told my wife that Steve Young would be called as the next apostle if our family paid double tithing we’d be living on 80% of our income.

    Seriously, she’s that devoted.

    Comment by Chad too — October 2, 2007 @ 6:47 pm

  17. Swearing apostle … hmmmm … I could probably do that.

    Comment by Blake — October 2, 2007 @ 7:29 pm

  18. Anybody but my second mission president.

    Comment by Ardis — October 2, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

  19. Ardis,
    That’s a lot of fantasizing?

    My mission president would make a great swearing apostle.

    If Iwere going to fantasize worst case scenario, it would be Gilbert Godfrey, hands down, based on voice alone… (Poor Gilbert)

    Comment by Matt W. — October 2, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  20. Re # 13: Mitt only if that’ll get him out of politics!

    I’d love to see an Apostle who doesn’t even know English so that at least once every six months we English speakers have to hear the talk in translation :)

    Comment by Non-Arab Arab — October 2, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

  21. “Re # 13: Mitt only if that’ll get him out of politics!”

    Yes, that was the idea.

    Comment by Bill — October 2, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

  22. “Mitt only if that’ll get him out of politics!”

    It didn’t work for Ezra Taft Benson.

    Comment by JKC — October 3, 2007 @ 5:59 am

  23. I like Mitt. But I would like to see David Paulsen personally.

    Comment by Blake — October 3, 2007 @ 7:54 am

  24. The calling of a new apostle gives the LDS church a chance to lend credibility to its intense level of attention to homosexuality. Let me explain.

    The new pamphlet, while acknowledging that marriage is not to be considered a “cure” for homosexuality, notes that marriage may only be “deferred” for a gay man who has no attraction for women. Also, while acknowledging that some faulty souls “may not be free of this challenge in this life,” the pamphlet promises that some will turn straight and happily marry, if they exercise (1) faith, (2) individual effort, and (3) reliance on the power of the atonement. Recent statements by current LDS apostles convey the same theories, and LDS media resources have begun to point out examples of very young “successful” marriages, in which gay LDS men have united with heterosexual LDS women.

    That being the case, Gordon B. Hinckley should call an acknowledged “formerly” gay man, who has been successfully married and raised children, to show that (as the pamphlet says) all the blessings of the gospel are available to such men. As a second choice, he could call an openly gay man who has lived a celibate life. Clearly apostle is not a calling that requires marriage, since several apostles have served while being single widowers.

    Maybe this would prove to everyone how much deity loves gay men who marry women, and gay celibate men, as the pamphlet and leaders teach.

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 8:14 am

  25. Marlin K. Jensen, or someone from South America.

    Comment by Dan Ellsworth — October 3, 2007 @ 8:29 am

  26. I really like Ed Pinegar, but I wouldn’t mind an apostle from Central or South America– I would especially like it if that hypothetical apostle would give his talks in Spanish.

    Nick- doesn’t apostleship require marriage? Maybe not active, earthly marriage but widowers are still sealed to their wives who’ve passed on…

    Comment by Melanie — October 3, 2007 @ 8:31 am

  27. Melanie, I heard somewhere that isn’t exactly true. I forget where though…

    Comment by Seth R. — October 3, 2007 @ 8:38 am

  28. You may be right about a marriage requirement, Melanie. If so, I guess they’ll need to go with the first option—that mythical “formerly” gay man, in a heterosexual marriage.

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 8:38 am

  29. I think the odds are that the next apostle will be someone born after 1950 and someone from Latin America. Maybe Ulisses Soares?

    Comment by California Condor — October 3, 2007 @ 9:05 am

  30. My kids would love to see Ed Pinegar as a face they recognize! He is the Bishop in the early 90′s sacrament meetings shown on the BYU channel Sunday afternoons. It comes on right afetr Music and the Spoken Word and my kids are facinated by the fashion/ hairstyles displayed.

    Comment by john scherer — October 3, 2007 @ 9:13 am

  31. Faustino Lopez Requena, my mission president.

    Comment by Adam Greenwood — October 3, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  32. GST of course

    Comment by bbell — October 3, 2007 @ 9:51 am

  33. Ed Pinegar? Nah.

    Comment by Blake — October 3, 2007 @ 10:25 am

  34. Nick: Not every post is about homosexuality. This one isn’t. I’ve enjoyed your comments on topic.

    Comment by Blake — October 3, 2007 @ 10:26 am

  35. Blake, I appreciate your concern, and to a limited extent, I understand it. On the other hand, I’d suggest that my comment was no more “off topic” than someone wishing Mitt Romney would be called, in order to get him out of politics. I sympathize, but let’s face it, it’s a comment on Mitt, not a comment on the apostleship. Similar threads have raised “wishes” that an apostle be called from various international backgrounds–those are also what we might call “agenda-driven” expressions. I’d say my comment fell right in with these.

    As I said, however, I understand your concern, and will try to focus on threads.

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 10:37 am

  36. I’m pulling for Francisco Vinas. He’s got the Latin American thing going, plus he’s currently serving in one of the European Area presidencies. Also, I think Marlin Jensen and Bishop Burton are good possibilities, with Elder Nelson going to the First Presidency.

    Comment by Rob T. — October 3, 2007 @ 10:42 am

  37. I’m with Blake on Pinnegar. The man spent time as a faculty member at the BYU Nauvoo semester program, and attended my ward during the time. In fact, he was assigned as my home teaching companion. I think he’s a very kind-hearted, well-intentioned person. I also think his writings represent everything that I personally dislike, when I compare early Mormonism to modern LDS-ism. Pinnegar is more of a John Bytheway type than, say, a Neal A. Maxwell type. He’s zealous, but not much of a thinker. He made me crazy, to be honest. He also taught my daughter’s Sunday School class, and managed to drive away a young woman who was investigating the LDS church, because every week he pressed her in class to set a baptism date. Though he clearly meant well, the girl felt terribly uncomfortable, and stopped attending because of it. Nice guy, but apostle material? Not so much.

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 10:50 am

  38. Ooooh, Ed Pinnegar was my mtc president. He and the wife were certainly magnetic and inspiring, but there were some unpleasant personal interactions.

    Comment by Norbert — October 3, 2007 @ 11:01 am

  39. BTW, my long shot dark horse is Condie. I really dig him. He may be too old though, and based on the last few calls, too fuddy-duddy.

    Comment by Norbert — October 3, 2007 @ 11:03 am

  40. Hehehe…my immediate thought in reading #39 was “What? Condeleeza Rice????” ;-) (Yes, I know he meant Spencer Condie!)

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 11:10 am

  41. Really and truly, if I were to lay money on the outcome, it would be Marlin K. Jensen. He seems to be incredibly prominent as a “face” of the LDS church of late. I’d put my bet on Dallin Oaks to be called to the First Presidency.

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 11:13 am

  42. I’m up for fantasy, not so into predictions of what will happen. Maybe I’ll do that in a different post…

    Comment by Matt W. — October 3, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  43. If we’re shifting into fantasy-first-presidency-mode, I’ll put my money on Henry Eyring, just so I could hear him speak more often. Henry B rocks.

    Comment by terceiro — October 3, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

  44. Henry B. rules (or hopefully should)!

    Comment by Kent — October 3, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  45. I would pick Emmanuel A. Kissi, Marlin Jensen, or Yoshihiko Kikuchi (I’d like to see more fervor in General Conference talks, and he can yell with the best of them).

    My kids would love to see Ed Pinegar as a face they recognize! He is the Bishop in the early 90’s sacrament meetings shown on the BYU channel Sunday afternoons. It comes on right afetr Music and the Spoken Word and my kids are facinated by the fashion/ hairstyles displayed.

    I, too, are fascinated by the fashions and hairstyles. What disturbs me, though, is that the dates of the programs I have watched have all been 2000. I can’t answer the question of why a ward in the year 2000 was sporting fashions and hairstyles popular in the early 1990s and even 1980s.

    Comment by Justin — October 3, 2007 @ 12:53 pm

  46. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the first presidency. He has a lot to teach the church and could do more from that podium. And Bruce Hafen to the quorum.

    Comment by Hal — October 3, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

  47. Justin: Maybe they were filmed in the same location as Napolean Dynamite?

    Comment by Matt W. — October 3, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

  48. I don’t really have a fantasy pick for the First Presidency, to be honest.

    Comment by Matt W. — October 3, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

  49. Justin,

    That’s just plain scary. I thought I remember seeing a 1994 date on one of them. The styles are even behind the times for then. If any of those episodes occured post 2000…Wow!

    Comment by john scherer — October 3, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

  50. I’ve never quite gotten over reading an Ensign article by Hafen, back before he became a general authority. In it, he explained that the miracles and revelations of early Mormonism were all the features of an “immature” church, and now that the church was more “mature,” it didn’t need such things. It reminded me directly of some of Nibley’s descriptions of clergymen making the same argument, and how that was evidence (to Nibley) of the apostacy. It also brought to mind Book of Mormon passages about men saying “the day of miracles has ceased.” I thought it was very disturbing, and it pretty much sealed my opinion of the man.

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

  51. Maybe they were filmed in the same location as Napolean Dynamite?

    Orem: Utah’s Preston.

    That’s just plain scary. I thought I remember seeing a 1994 date on one of them. The styles are even behind the times for then. If any of those episodes occured post 2000…Wow!

    After seeing so many 2000 dates, I leaped to the conclusion that the filming was done in that single year.

    Comment by Justin — October 3, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

  52. I love someone who is truly outspoken…someone not afraid to stir it up a bit…how about Joseph Fielding McConkie?

    Comment by don — October 3, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

  53. Don,

    Wouldn’t you prefer someone who taught true doctine? ;-)

    Comment by Geoff J — October 3, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

  54. Don, the Angel Moroni burning on your lawn was put there by me.

    Comment by Kent — October 3, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

  55. This article?

    Comment by Justin — October 3, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

  56. Nick,
    Is this the Hafen Ensign article you are referring to?

    Is Yours a Believing Heart?

    “As we have begun to understand how technological miracles happen, the tendency to ascribe what is not understood to supernatural origins has declined.”

    Comment by Howard — October 3, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  57. Actually this one:

    It’s called “When Do the Angels Come?” and it was published in the April 1992 Ensign.

    [Link fixed by Admin]

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

  58. Okay, something went totally wrong there. Sorry! Let’s try the link again [fixed by the editor -- just use the insert URL button in the future Nick]

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  59. That’s really weird. The tinyurl works for me just fine, but when I paste it in this blog, it goes to some Google search in French (I hope it’s not French profanity–ha!). Sorry folks!

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  60. Nick,

    I did my mission in France, and the Google search is for flour-free cakes.

    Comment by California Condor — October 3, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

  61. Whew! Thanks, CC!

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 3, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

  62. Think you might be just a bit harsh in your judgement of Hafen’s meaning in that article. I read it and I don’t hear him saying that the Kirtland manifestations were “immature” at all. I see him saying that when life gets tough later and those manifestations perhaps haven’t continued, that we can and should look back on those for inspiration. That doesn’t (nor do I think he is saying it does) mean that we can’t have those manifestations again, just that sometimes we do go through the spiritual desert.

    Comment by Non-Arab Arab — October 3, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  63. Prediction: Bednar – First Presidency
    Fantasy Apostle: Wilford Brimley, Dale Murphy or Jared Hess(he could be over the media operations) hahaha

    hey this is fantasy right?

    Comment by ajax — October 3, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

  64. Prediction: Bednar – First Presidency

    This would be a bold move. He would be in the First Presidency for a long time since he is so young.

    Comment by California Condor — October 3, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

  65. Justin:

    My wife and in-laws are in one of those sacrament meeting films. Bountiful, early 90′s.

    Its not exactly Orem although I do consider Bountiful to be Davis County’s Orem.

    Comment by Jon in Austin — October 3, 2007 @ 7:06 pm

  66. Geoff, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Joseph Fielding McConkie does have some interesting perspectives….like his dad. Still he would stir things up!

    California Condor, If Bednar were put in the first presidency, which I personally think would be great, it doesn’t mean he would be there long. He’d be there until he’s released by Hinckley or until Hinckley dies. When Hinckley dies the presidency is disolved until Monson chooses his councilors. (Might be the shortest calling he’s ever had)

    Comment by don — October 3, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

  67. don (66),

    Good point about the First Presidency dissolving upon Hinckley’s death. However, I would imagine that Monson would be inclined to keep Bednar in the Presidency if Bednar had already been in it.

    Comment by California Condor — October 4, 2007 @ 9:17 am

  68. I don’t know about Bednar–is it the “be a pickle” Bednar, or the “it’s your own fault if you’re offended” Bednar? I’ll take the first, but somebody help me if it’s the second.

    Pinegar was MTC mission president when I was there, too. No thanks.

    Comment by CS Eric — October 4, 2007 @ 9:47 am

  69. I would love “it’s your own fault if you’re offended” Bednar coupled with “i love cockfighting” Brimley. It would be a “it’s your own fault your offended that I love cockfighting” quorum. Now that’s a quorum I’d grow to love.

    Comment by ajax — October 4, 2007 @ 11:07 am

  70. I’d take “Don’t take offense” over “pickle power” any day, but I’m hoping we get some “Tender Mercies” Bednar out of this conference.

    I will predict that he will NOT be in the first presidency, though. It’s highly improbible. In fact, I’d say he only has a 1/12 chance of it.

    Comment by Matt W. — October 4, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  71. Kent,
    alas, Warner hasn’t published in years.

    I’ll second Blake’s nomination of David Paulsen – one of the most humble men I’ve ever known.

    Comment by Eric Russell — October 4, 2007 @ 2:38 pm

  72. Kikuchi all the way. He’s one of the most senior Seventy and he’s still relatively young.

    Comment by Insider — October 5, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  73. [edited]
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.
    I will not threadjack Matt W.’s Posts.

    Comment by Rick B — October 5, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

  74. The “truth” = what you say? Are you God?

    Comment by Jack — October 5, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  75. Predicted: Marlin Jensen
    Fantasy: Sheri Dew

    Admittedly far-fetched fantasy, but it’d be nice…

    Comment by Rob G — October 6, 2007 @ 9:07 am

  76. Aww, yeah! H. B. Eyring in the first presidency. Who is this Cook guy?

    Comment by Kent — October 6, 2007 @ 9:13 am

  77. >It didn’t work for Ezra Taft Benson.

    Thank goodness he kept speaking the truth about what was happening to the United States, though, unfortunately, not many people listened. It’s interesting (and depressing) to read his early books on creeping socialism, etc., and see how perfectly he predicted (prophesied) of what would happen.

    My fantasy apostle: Ted Nugent.
    His biography (written by Sheri Dew): Theodore Nugent, the Motor City Mormon

    Hey, Ted already keeps at least part of the Word of Wisdom, since he doesn’t drink or smoke.

    Comment by Beelzereed — October 11, 2007 @ 8:21 am

  78. Beelzereed, I have a friend who has been hunting with Ted Nugent. Ted does have a book of mormon, and my friend has had many conversations with him about our faith. So maybe…

    Comment by Matt W. — October 11, 2007 @ 8:31 am

  79. Yes! :)

    Comment by Beelzereed — October 11, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  80. I would have to put in a vote for Darius Gray. I love me some “Papa D” he truly does speak with the tongue of angels. The world is missing out on this wonderful wonderful man.

    Comment by Shabang — October 25, 2007 @ 2:38 pm

  81. +1 Faustino Lopez Requena

    Comment by El Padrino de Torremolinos — November 26, 2007 @ 11:24 pm