I woke on Tuesday morning, December 2nd, and felt an almost instant prompting to go to the Church website. I fought it all through my morning gospel study and when I finally made it downstairs to head off for exercise, I could resist no more. I opened the website and there saw the headline that Elder Wirthlin had passed away. The flood of tears that followed surprised me, though I remember feeling just the same magnificent and holy sadness when Elder Maxwell, Elder Faust, and Pres. Hinckley passed away.
I just held my head in my hands and wept and wept and wept. The tears are still fresh on my cheeks.
The Council of the Twelve ARE true Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am so deeply, deeply grateful and beholden to these men who serve as our anchor to the truth (Eph. 4:11-13). The office has always been important, but becomes more and more relevant as the last days intensify with confusion on every hand.
A few years back, while living in Florida, where “Christian” radio is big, I remember hearing a talk show host interview a leading Christian theologian, minister, and author. He was describing a compatriot, of his same stature, who ministered in Europe. This European theologian and philosopher had come to the United States to study “American” Christianity. The most important question he had come to seek out, which no Christian leader had yet been able to answer was this: “Who are your holy men?” That is, who are the persons in your American movement that are truly revered as holy? -- the ones that people look to for infallible leadership because they have attained such a degree of uprightness and humility? This man being interviewed, the one telling the story, had to admit with some embarrassment that he knew of none such in America.
We know the “holy men”.
And as America, indeed, the entire world, reels in a leadership vacuum, we are prospering under their example and teachings and inspiration.
“Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior [we may add, through his Apostles]…strikes it all into insignificance….” (Oliver Cowdery, JSH appendix).