Sunday, February 26, 2012

30: The Prophets New Tie/Clothes

We just received the new March Ensign yesterday. There is a large portrait of Thomas S Monson on the cover. He is wearing a beautiful tie with all of the flags from around the world. I was able to count over a 100 flags visible on his tie, symbolic that Mormonism is now a global faith.

The bulk of the articles in this month's Ensign is to reiterate and emphasize in the minds of the Church members the importance of Following the Prophet and sustaining our leaders. Here are a few of the articles:
  • · "Follow the Prophet"
  • · "Led by a living prophet"
  • · "Following the Prophet makes me happy."
  • · "We sustain our Leaders"
  • · "Why do we need prophets?"
  • · "Preparing for General Conference"
  • · "Life Experiences of President Thomas S. Monson"
In addition to the headlines, I thought I would share a few excerpts from one of the articles, "Follow the Prophet" written by Elder Randall Bennett, one the General Authorities.
  • "We have learned not to question the validity of what prophets and apostles teach or to wonder if it makes sense."
  • "Some might call our actions blind obedience. But we have the Lord's personal promise that the prophets will never lead us astray."
  • "She had confidence in knowing that she was following the prophet. And that was more important than anything else." 
  • "Our determination to always follow the prophet."

One of the featured and longest article in this month's Ensign is a six page spread on the life of President Monson entitled , "Have I Done Any Good in the World today?" It is written by Heidi S. Swinton, who was commissioned by President Monson to write his autobiography. The article highlights some of Monson's acts of service and accomplishments throughout his life. In the article there is a compliment given by President Boyd K Packer referring to President Monson, "He is more Christlike than the rest of us". (Sidenote: This same quote is the opening sentence in Monson's autobiography).

Without question, there is an over abundance of stories and examples that we hear about how wonderful our Prophet is. In fact, in the latest Worldwide Training Meeting held a few weeks ago, the General Young Women's President said, " "I want to be like the prophet because he is like our Savior."

A few more quotes from the Ensign article:

  • "He (Monson) relates to a visiting dignitary from a foreign country with the same attention he does the man who polishes his desk at night." (Sidenote: I guess the bottom in worldly importance is a man who polishes President Monson's desk each night)
  • "President Monson does what most people only think about doing."
Preparatory to General Conference, once again in this months Ensign we are reminded of the good deeds and exemplary life of President Monson before the world will hear him speak to us..


One of the advantages of having young children is that you can read them bedtime stories. In addition the Ensign, the Church produces magazines like the Friend. However, sometimes it is fun to read classic fairy tales. I think we can learn a lot from fairy tales. Since both of my parents come from Denmark, as a child, my parents read to us tales written by the Danish author, Hans Christian Anderson. The Little Mermaid and the Ugly Duckling were some of our favorites growing up. One of his lesser known tales is "The Emperor's New Clothes." In case some are unfamiliar with the story, here is a very brief summary:

Once upon a time, there was an Emperor who loved to show off his beautiful clothes to his people. One day, the Emperor hires two tailors that promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the suit is finished, the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Everyone said, loud enough for the others to hear:
"Look at the Emperor's new clothes. They're beautiful!"....

"What a marvellous train!"

"And the colors! The colors of that beautiful fabric!

"I have never seen anything like it in my life!"

Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but holds himself up proudly and continues the procession, deciding never to be so vain again and to take his position more seriously.