Comments about ‘Emeritus general authorities welcome the chance to practice what they've preached’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

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A Scientist
Provo, UT

Jensen made the mistake of being honest about how many people are leaving the Church. So they have to move him into the pasture...

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Scientist, is you assumption based on "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" or "post hoc ergo propter hoc"?

What variables did you take into account, or neglect to take into account, to arrive at your scientific cause-effect conclusion?

Medical Lake, Washington

For Montana Mormon, I think we should give A Scientist a chance to also explain the specific reason why each and everyone of the other emeritus status individuals were moved into those ranks.

In all seriousness, I am grateful for the time each of these men and women have devoted to such intense service for so many years of their lives. We miss them when their seats are no longer occupied but hope that they have more opportunities to spend with their families which they have no doubt had to sacrifice to a great degree over the years.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

[I STILL don't understand why the DN monitor refuses to post this? What "rule" am I breaking?]

I'm sad to see Elder Marlin K. Jensen released.

He was one of my favor GA's.

Enjoy the well deserved rest Elder Jensen...

Dave D
Pocatello, ID

I will miss Elder Jensen's compassion, honesty, and willingness to be forthright about the Church's history. He is a fine example of how you can be both a democrat and a terrific member of the Church. I wish he would reconsider running for political office. Utah could really use his perspective and civility.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

I have no doubt that if he put his mind to it, "A Scientist" could make up reasons for all the other emeritus status appointments at age 70 out of nothing as he did in this case.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Montana Mormon,

"What variables did you take into account, or neglect to take into account, to arrive at your scientific cause-effect conclusion?"

The Spirit.

If you cannot comprehend it, you must be unworthy.

(Isn't that the epistemological technique of which you approve?)

Salt Lake City, UT

I would call myself a Democrat also if I didn't have to align myself with abortioners, gay-marriage proponents, unions, socialism and big government.

Marlin Jenson is no more a Democrat than I'm an alien from Mars.

Cardston, Alberta

Church leaders are saddened to see any members leave the fold, however few they might be. Some detractors delight in all sorts of exaggeration and this is just another fine example of distortion of the facts. The numbers do not lie. When the LDS Church drew a line in the sand as was done with prop 8 in California, a few left-lib members made their choice to say "bon voyage". The real truth is however that membership continues to grow as rapidly as ever.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Scientist (a.k.a. Vanka?--if so, it's good to see your comments again.)

Yes, I do accept divine communication--the Spirit, as you put it--as a viable source of knowledge. Opinions on that epistemological technique vary, I realize, but you won't find me critizing anyone who does not share my opinion. It appears you have been criticized because, if I am inferring correctly, you question the viability of the Spirit as an epistemological technique. If you have been criticized, I am truly sorry, even if my previous post to you was borderline snarky (sarcastic to be sure).

But regarding the topic at hand, I would say that a well-established precedent is my reason for accepting at face value Elder Jensen's imminent designation as an emeritus General Authority. He turned 70 earlier this year, he has had several months to transition his replacement as Church Historian, and General Conference is coming up next week. I don't need the Spirit to tell me why he is going to be granted emeritus status. I have no reason to assume any other motive by the First Presidency to grant him emeritus status than the aforementioned precedent.

Roy, UT

Some emeritus church leaders become even busier with special church assignments, and I appreciate the saying, "all work is the same."

Joan Watson

a Scientist
epistemology: knowledge to understnd, believe orig, to stand before, confront study or theory of the origin, nature, methods, and limits of knowledge.
Whew! some "technique" wouldn't one say?

Medical Lake, Washington

It is interesting how many comments of such varying degrees result in a simple story about someone "retiring" from official church service. When my father retired I never saw so many comments as to whether or not he was retiring because of his lack of faith in the new management which had recently taken over his company (which for him was the case).

Elder Jensen has served well, and so many others have an continue to do so; including ward nursery leaders and various general authorities. Let's simply say thank you and continue to serve well ourselves.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: A Scientist Provo, UT

Elder Marlin K. Jensen has spent a life time in the service of his Heavenly Father, and this world is a far better place because of him.

Isn't it wonderful that at age 70 he can spend some personal time with his family, friends, and the animals he cares for!!


Why did this change get implemented in 1978?

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Don't see how this comment violates ANY of your rules:

Reuters reported in January this year that, at a Q&A session at Utah State University, Elder Jensen said,

"the 15 men that are above me in the hierarchy of the church... [know that members are 'leaving in droves']... Maybe since Kirtland, we've never had a period of - I'll call it apostasy, like we're having now."

And "that attrition has accelerated in the last five or 10 years"

They also report that the retention rate for converts is as low as 25 percent, and LDS Sociologists estimate there are as few as 5 million active members worldwide.

"It's a different generation," Elder Jensen told the group in Logan. "There's no sense kidding ourselves, we just need to be very upfront with them and tell them what we know and give answers to what we have and call on their faith like we all do for things we don't understand."

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

Scientist's statistics are sobering and sad to those of us who are striving to be among the active members of the Church, and they're certainly not lost on those in the leading councils of the Church. It brings to my mind this statement made by President Ezra Taft Benson in 1974, when he was serving as the President of the Council of the 12:

"There is a real sifting going on in the Church, and it is going to become more pronounced with the passing of time. It will sift the wheat from the tares, because we face some difficult days, the like of which we have never experienced in our lives. And those days are going to require faith and testimony and family unity, the like of which we have never had" (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 107).

The statistics appear to corroborate President Benson's observation.


I'm still wondering why this change was put in place in 1978? Anyone have any answers?

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT


I think the best answer to your question is given by Elder Jensen himself, as stated in the article:

"I'm grateful the Lord has made provisions to be emeritus. I think it's wise. To me, it makes possible the refreshment of the Seventy. You have new Seventies come on board, and they work hard for a number of years and give it the best they have, and then they quietly step down and let new men come in to keep pushing the work along with new energy and vitality."

For a shorter answer, I suggest one word: foresight.

Dave D
Pocatello, ID


I think I read about President Kimball's decision to do this in Ed Kimball's biography. I think it's called "Lengthen Your Stride." I highly recommend it.

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