Demotion from First Presidency?

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SilentDawning
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Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by SilentDawning » 28 Mar 2018, 12:01

Someone mentioned that the only person to admit a mistake publicly (Uchdorft) was "demoted from the First Presidency". I thought that was an interesting thought, but to really consider it a demotion, I think there would have to be precedent with brethren assigned to the FP staying there for life rather than being moved into a lesser role. Does history support the idea that a person called to the FP, and then moved to a non-FP role is a very rare occurrence?

Even if rare, we can't be sure it was a demotion, although we might wonder if it was in fact a form of punishment, or removal due to inappropriate behavior. I'd be sad if it was actually a demotion...

Thoughts? Is removal from the FP a rare occurrence after someone is called to the position?
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dande48
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by dande48 » 28 Mar 2018, 12:28

I found this nice tidbit... Chronology of the First Presidenct. Turns out they've got a wiki for EVERYTHING.

It has happened in the past, looking through the list. Before Uchtdorf, there was Hugh B Brown, who was called in the first presidency from 1961 to 1970. When David O McKay died in 1970, Joseph Fielding Smith became the new President, and Brown got a "demotion".

Then back in 1901, Rudger Clawson was called to the first presidency, but wasn't sustained until Lorenzo Snow died 4 days later. When fellow counselor Joseph F Smith became the prophet, Rudger Clawson was not selected for the first presidency.

And of course NONE of the counselors of Joseph Smith Jr or Brigham Young remained into the next presidency.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So in total you have between 4 to 5 times it's happened before Uchtdorf. Sidney Rigdon, John Willard Young, Daniel H. Wells, Hugh B Brown, Rudger Clawson (if we count him), and Deiter F Uchdorft, all served as first counselor, and were "demoted". The only two I really suspect were for personal reasons was Hugh B Brown and Uchdorft.

A few other interesting tidbits I learned:
  • The first presidency can have a THIRD counselor. Who knew?
  • While the twelve apostles wasn't organized until 1835, Sidney Rigdon served in the first Presidency for three years prior. So... wouldn't that make him Brigham Young's senior?
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DarkJedi
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Mar 2018, 12:36

This was covered a bit in this thread:viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8715.

You're right, we can't say for sure it was a demotion, and he was given some very high profile duties in the Q12 (missions and correlation). But the last time it appears to have happened was the release of Hugh B. Brown by Joseph Fielding Smith, and it appears there had been only one instance in the 20th century. Rare? Absolutely. I'm no expert on that era of church history, but it is clear the Brown and Smith (as well as HBL) butted heads, with Brown favoring ending the priesthood ban and questioning whether Smith should have been in the top seat considering his advanced age.

In my own mind, considering the conservative bent of RMN and DHO, if it was not a demotion it was at least a marginalization. The biggest downside for me is that we will hear from DFU less as a member of the Q12.

(Note I was typing at the same time as Dande)
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DarkJedi
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Mar 2018, 12:42

dande48 wrote:
28 Mar 2018, 12:28
  • The first presidency can have a THIRD counselor. Who knew?
Any of us who were around when GBH was called as "third" counselor to SWK because of the poor health of SWK, NET, and MGR. :D

Or for the real dinosaurs, those who were around in the later years of DOM, who I believe at one time had 5 counselors (mostly incapacitated). I remember Hinckley, not McKay.
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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dande48
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by dande48 » 28 Mar 2018, 13:00

DarkJedi wrote:
28 Mar 2018, 12:42
Or for the real dinosaurs, those who were around in the later years of DOM, who I believe at one time had 5 counselors (mostly incapacitated). I remember Hinckley, not McKay.
Wait... wait... HOLD ON. Are you telling me that the first presidency is NOT selected according to capability?!!

:shock: *Mind-Blown*
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DarkJedi
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Mar 2018, 14:01

dande48 wrote:
28 Mar 2018, 13:00
DarkJedi wrote:
28 Mar 2018, 12:42
Or for the real dinosaurs, those who were around in the later years of DOM, who I believe at one time had 5 counselors (mostly incapacitated). I remember Hinckley, not McKay.
Wait... wait... HOLD ON. Are you telling me that the first presidency is NOT selected according to capability?!!

:shock: *Mind-Blown*
Well, depending on your point of view, they could be called according to capability. They reached down a bit for Hinckley and he was very capable compared to his "peers." Part of the reason he was beloved by so many was that he was the face of the church for a long time under both Kimball and Benson.

FWIW, I think they were very worried about Packer outliving Nelson precisely because they were worried about having someone incapacitated at the head of the church either immediately or in the near future after his call. I don't think there has been an instance where the senior apostle is already incapacitated at the time of his call to be president. It looks like we're OK for the foreseeable future, although I don't think Eyring has a long way to go in that respect (but he's not next in line 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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SamBee
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by SamBee » 28 Mar 2018, 16:22

Yes, it was a demotion. However it doesn't affect his seniority in line to become president. Uchtdorf is in rude health so he stands a good chance of getting back up there.
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mom3
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by mom3 » 28 Mar 2018, 16:23

It may not be a formal demotion, but it sure feels like one to me. I am planning on mourning the loss for many years to come.
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SamBee
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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by SamBee » 28 Mar 2018, 16:52

It can be justified in that the first in line has been put into the First Presidency, but like the Hamula & LGBT parents events, it was handled quite badly. I'm just glad it wasn't Packer.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: Demotion from First Presidency?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 29 Mar 2018, 15:36

Personality issues aside, Elder Oaks is the most likely next president, so it made sense to move him into the FP as the 1st Counselor. That wasn't a historical given, by any stretch, but it made sense. Likewise, Elder Eyring was the 1st Counselor, so it made sense to drop him to 2nd Counselor. Uchtdorf was the 2nd Counselor (and the "junior apostle" of the FP), so it made sense to move him out of the FP.

I would have loved to have had Uchtdorf stay in the FP, but it isn't a demotion, given the practical situation, even if a big part of the reason was "fit" with Pres. Nelson. Otoh, it would have been a clear demotion if Eyring had been removed, given his "higher" counselor standing and apostle order, if Uchtdorf had remained. Few people stop to consider that aspect.
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