Retiring minds

Intrigued that Benedict is retiring. Maybe the Mormons'll notice.

Modern medical advances increasingly make lifetime appointments fade into leaders struggling to serve after they're able, but at least the Supreme Court and Pope can be selected from younger candidates. The Mormon automatic selection of whoever has the most seniority of the Council of Twelve statistically games the system toward geriatric woes.

There was speculation that they've tried to avert disaster by promoting a few youthful (50ish) leaders; problem is that eventually everyone gets old. Stacking the deck toward 'young seniority' merely delays the inevitable. Nudging Apostles to retire is an easy fix.

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But...

... they can't retire until Gawd tells them to. It's not like they have a choice.

Do Prophets Resign?

"As all Mormons are taught from their primary days on up, prophets are called of God. When the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passes away, the next member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is called and sustained. But do prophets ever resign, similar to the manner that Pope Benedict XVI has recently done?"

"... It was not long thereafter that President Kimball fell ill again, living in a fog, not mentally acute. He did not “resign” as prophet, seer, or revelator, nor did he resign as president. But he did make sure that there was a person in place to administer the responsibilities of the First Presidency."

Here is the full article.

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LDSmag.com comments are interesting

Thanks, 123 -- a good read. Commenters chew on 'emeritus' status, a concern that any decision to retire now might look like 'copying', an early pope that resigned because he was too young and inexperienced, Benson and Monson's poor health, and plenty of other tangents.

The details that jumped out of the article were pretty much on point to my initial comment: halfway through Spencer Kimball's decade-plus tenure, he's credited with passing responsibility right past his two principal lieutenants and appointing a 3rd counsellor (there are usually only 2) -- a younger guy better able to run the church. I also noted that the article discussed presidency events nearly 30 years ago -- there's no mention of challenges faced by more recent leaders.

Facades shouldn't matter so much.

A facade

... On a store, or any organization, is simply a sign -- the outward representation of whatever message the group seeks to express. The LDS church (and its all-volunteer ministry) is very wise to pay attention to the image it presents.

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An excellent blog post on this subject

from Liza Long, picked up by The Blue Review:
Time to Give up the Keys?