Who is Russel M. Nelson?

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DarkJedi
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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Jul 2015, 04:56

I think Nelson and Oaks are both old school hardliners and would not like to see either in the big chair. The only thing I like better about Nelson is that he smiles while Oaks seems to mostly scowl. There are things I like about Oaks better - you do know where he stands. Oaks is 8 years younger, making it much more likely he will around longer and making it more likely that each of them could see some time at the top unless one or both of them have a Perry-like speedy decline (remember how robust Perry seemed at April conference?). Frankly I'm not sad that Packer never took the helm, but I'm not too keen on the next two either.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Jul 2015, 05:23

Remember, Oaks is the one who spoke in General Conference about endowed women having Priesthood power and authority within themselves and all who serve in callings exercising Priesthood power and authority in those callings.

It's easy to focus on one thing or another, but these are not one-dimensional people - and I have been surprised often in my lifetime by what some of them have said.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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nibbler
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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by nibbler » 07 Jul 2015, 05:27

On Own Now wrote:So, now to the heart of the matter. Who is RMN? I'd love to hear insights from any of you. BKP was a known quantity, and that quantity was a little scary. But RMN, to me, is a mystery man. He's pretty non-descript. He's been an Apostle for 31 years, but I have no idea what his key issues are or what he stands for. I can't think of any talk he has given. He's probably the least interesting of the quorum. The only distinguishing event I can think of regarding RMN was when he stood at the side of Joseph B. Wirthlin, who was very shaky at the podium. His speaking tone is boring (to me), his topics are not interesting. I think of his words as 'primary answers' delivered in conference talk form. His talk at the conclusion of GC, the last talk on Easter Sunday, was about Sabbath Observance. But I really just don't know what to think. Any of you have insights?
Shows where my mind is at but the first thing I thought of was the "How General Authorities Eat Their Reese's Peanut Butter Cups" video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDPi4buduY0

I hope that isn't too disrespectful, it's comedy after all. :angel: So when you asked your question I immediately thought, "what would RMN's instructions for eating a Reese's peanut butter cup sound like?" I'm coming up blank.

Like others one of the few messages that came to mind was his article on Divine Love. I remember that one because there was some debate both internal and external to the church surrounding the teaching that god's love was conditional. I think the discussion reached a stalemate similar to faith vs. works. Personally I'd rather have a god that loved unconditionally, if god's love is conditional it gives us permission to place conditions on our love. I'd rather strive for that unattainable ideal than try to determine whether my conditions lined up with what I currently believe to be god's conditions.

The only other talk that comes to mind is his talk Sustaining the Prophets. I only remember it because it came during that session last October that was all about prophets.
You can't just have your characters announce how they feel... that makes me feel ANGRY!
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DarkJedi
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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Jul 2015, 06:26

You are, of course, right Ray. It is sometimes easier to focus on the perceived negatives than on positives for some reason - I don't know why that is. Conversely, Uchtdorf can almost do no wrong. I do like Elder Oaks's talk about the keys of the priesthood and I quote from it frequently. I also like his talk from Oct. 2014 conference about loving others and living with differences and I have quoted from that talk as well. I think it interesting that he has been at the forefront (IMO) of the issue of loving those who believe differently given his vehement opposition to gay marriage. It is Oaks and Christofferson who go out and talk about these issues as opposed to others who we might think are a bit less opinionated. And I think that's the thing with Nelson - he's vanilla and he parrots most of the time.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by hawkgrrrl » 07 Jul 2015, 08:21

For those interested in Oaks, I blogged about his visit to Singapore here: http://www.wheatandtares.org/8220/react ... les-words/ This visit was BEFORE his talk in General Conference on women basically already having priesthood authority in their callings.

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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by Roy » 07 Jul 2015, 10:04

hawkgrrrl wrote:For those interested in Oaks, I blogged about his visit to Singapore here: http://www.wheatandtares.org/8220/react ... les-words/ This visit was BEFORE his talk in General Conference on women basically already having priesthood authority in their callings.
I thought it was interesting that he states that he just goes by the spirit without prepared remarks. I understand the religious background for such an approach but in an internet age of viral soundbites - I am not sure that speaking off the cuff is wise.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

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mom3
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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by mom3 » 07 Jul 2015, 11:06

Roy wrote
that he just goes by the spirit without prepared remarks.
I also don't believe that. None of us does, really. We go by what is input-ed into us. A conversation, an article we read, an personal experience. Like you Roy I also see that as a train wreck waiting to happen in our technology saturated world. One slip and it hits the fan.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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DarkJedi
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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Jul 2015, 13:06

Roy wrote:
hawkgrrrl wrote:For those interested in Oaks, I blogged about his visit to Singapore here: http://www.wheatandtares.org/8220/react ... les-words/ This visit was BEFORE his talk in General Conference on women basically already having priesthood authority in their callings.
I thought it was interesting that he states that he just goes by the spirit without prepared remarks. I understand the religious background for such an approach but in an internet age of viral soundbites - I am not sure that speaking off the cuff is wise.
I've heard them say that's what they're supposed to do, for whatever reason. Maybe so people don't ask for copies? Or maybe it's just so we think they're super-spiritual. Our Area Authority says the same thing - they're not supposed to have scripted talks. I think that's also why we're asked not to record them - although I'm sure that happens much more frequently now since most people are carrying recording devices around in their pockets.

FWIW, I think that's why they mostly parrot and why their General Conference talks are "correlated." It does strike me though that they do sometimes participate in Q&A sessions (we had a Seventy do that a few months ago) and things certainly could come back to bite them. I do believe if any of us were close friends with an apostle (Nelson or Oaks, for instance) and were having a dinner conversation with them they may be much more open and forthright (and long as they trusted us).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by Rob4Hope » 07 Jul 2015, 20:42

nibbler wrote: Like others one of the few messages that came to mind was his article on Divine Love. I remember that one because there was some debate both internal and external to the church surrounding the teaching that god's love was conditional. I think the discussion reached a stalemate similar to faith vs. works. Personally I'd rather have a god that loved unconditionally, if god's love is conditional it gives us permission to place conditions on our love. I'd rather strive for that unattainable ideal than try to determine whether my conditions lined up with what I currently believe to be god's conditions.
Nibbler...this is a difficult talk to read. I looked it up and had a go. He does say that God's love is conditional, and he doesn't do a very good job of defining what "love" is. He then seems to waffle between "God loves the sinner"...but not really.

Two ideas come to mind for me: the idea espoused by someone like SWK about hell fire and damnation (Think the first 3/4 of the book Miracle of Forgiveness), and someone like Brad Wilcox. In the former, the idea is that GOD throws people out and is the force behind their expulsion. In the latter, the idea is that WE leave of our own accord if we are not comfortable where we are.

I like Brad's approach so much better. I really REALLY do. That is a God I can have faith in--someone who pleads with me to come home, come back, come let me hold you, come let me heal you. That is a God of love and welcoming. The other God,...he is harsh and punitive.

I'm sorry, but part of the impression I get from RMN is the mean, angry judgemental God. For that matter then, why are we self judges through most of our doctrinal teachings,...as in temple recommend interviews?

Is there any way to harmonize the two? It doesn't seem like it from what you said Nibbler...

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Re: Who is Russel M. Nelson?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 08 Jul 2015, 05:20

Absolutely. It is quite easy, if you focus on the entire message in that talk and not limit the overall meaning by zeroing in on one phrase and making it the entire message.

As I said in the other thread where you posted about this talk, it is pretty obvious he meant that the blessings we receive are conditional - that God loves all unconditionally, but he can't bless all equally and unconditionally. I think he butchered that meaning, to a degree, for an audience that was diverse and was prone to hear his message in different ways, but the basic point that he was making really isn't that controversial.

To phrase it a little less harshly than I might in a private conversation, we all know that jerks get treated differently by just about everybody than nice people do. Framed differently, if I have an obnoxious, pain in the butt, confrontational, narrow-minded, judgmental sibling or parent or friend, I might love him or her every bit as much as my other, nicer siblings or parent or friends - but I'm not going to associate with them in the same way. My love might be unconditional, but my interaction will be conditional.

Again, I would phrase it differently than he did, but that talk has been used to beat him up unfairly, imo. It's also a great example of why we get many talks that sound more correlated and less edgy now than in the past, I think. When every word is dissected and then used as a bludgeon, often by ignoring the overall message, we shouldn't complain when we get more that are fairly generic.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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