In the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference in October 2015, three new apostles were chosen to replace three men who died since the last conference in April: Elder L. Tom Perry, Elder Boyd K. Packer, and Elder Richard G. Scott.
We are told that these three men received their call directly from President Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet of the church stating that the Lord had chosen them. There are some touching stories about their calls and the reactions to it on various news sites.
There was no campaigning involved and no electioneering, just a peaceful transition followed by a sustaining vote. This is unlike any transition of leadership in any church in the world.
Surprisingly though, several people online posted about how they are “disappointed” with the selections as they were hoping there would be someone chosen from other nationalities, races, countries or areas of the world. I presume this request is to make the church look more “inclusive” of other nationalities and not appear to be from just one.
There are two major faults with such reasoning:
The first are the obvious questions, “Were they called of God or not? Is this church led by revelation given to a prophet of God, or not? Did this authority get passed down from Joseph Smith through the proper line as has been stated, or not? Do those who sustain him as a prophet and believe that the Book of Mormon is true, also truly sustain these new general authorities, or not?”
While the leadership of the church in the highest positions may appear to be predominantly “white”, the rest of the church definitely consists of every race imaginable. The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints is open to anyone in the world desiring to accept its teachings and live by its principles. Hundreds or even thousands of people every day are baptized somewhere all over the world committing themselves to take upon themselves the name of Christ, to keep his commandments and to sustain the leadership of the church.
People who question such actions as choosing new apostles that don’t fit what they were expecting need to seriously consider their own hearts. They are disagreeing with God. They are claiming that He should have done things differently. They are saying in essence, they know what is best and He’s made a mistake.
This is not a popularity contest nor is it a church the bows to every wind of change, doctrine or the latest fads. If there is anyone who questions these choices, they are urged to look deep within themselves and see what it is that really bothers them. The church accepts all people of all races, nations and cultures but the Lord chooses whom he will to lead his church.
That brings us to point number two: it is most likely that each of these men are from the tribe of Ephraim. It is Ephraim’s responsibility in the last days, as prophesied in the Scriptures, to gather the House of Israel together and bring them to the covenants of the Lord. I don’t know the patriarchal blessings and the pronouncements of each of these new apostles lineage, but it is most likely that they are from Ephraim.
Why is this significant? Ephraim’s tribe was taken up north after they were conquered by Assyria. We don’t exactly know where they went, only that they went north. Surely this must include Northern Europe, the Scandinavian countries and the people of the British Isles. It may also include Russia and others “up north”.
These are (were) all predominantly White races as are each of the members of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles. They are called to this position because they are the lineage of Ephraim. Although Ephraim’s lineage is all over the world, they are mostly White or Caucasian.
Ephraim has great blessings given to it in order to accomplish this mission. These great blessings come with great responsibilities including the enormous task of bringing all of the House of Israel, both living and dead, to the covenants of the Lord.
During the Lord’s short recorded history in Jerusalem he was limited to teaching just the Jews and the House of Israel. There is a somewhat odd story about a woman who was of Canaan and with whom he seemingly rather curtly ignored, but she persisted in her requests. Eventually her faith won him over and he granted her great blessings. (Matthew 15:21-18).
In our supposedly enlightened day this would seem to be a very rude or even “racist” thing to do, yet we are talking about the Lord here. We are talking about Jesus Christ the creator of the heavens and earth. He had a mission to perform as given to him by God and nothing was going to deter him from that. He was obedient unto God.
In our day the tribe of Ephraim, which is predominantly white, although definitely not exclusively, is what makes up the majority of the higher church leadership at this time. In the future day we will see the Lord’s hand in all things and understand why He did these things the way he did. It is my opinion that someday there will be leadership from other races and tribes, but until that time, we need to sustain them and wait upon the Lord.
It would be best to not be like Laman and Lemuel who, “did murmur against their father…because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.” (1 Nephi 2:12). It all requires Faith-something that was talked about often in this last Conference.