Tuesday, December 10, 2013


At church on Sunday, an announcement was read notifying us that The LDS Church has altered the name and program for its annual Christmas devotional. Known for 40 years since the early 1970s as the "First Presidency Christmas Devotional," the event traditionally has featured a talk from each of the three members of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as Christmas songs performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The church's press release, website, and tickets to the event this year call the event.. Christmas Devotional. The name change signals a change to the program.

President Monson opened the devotional and gave brief remarks. He spoke for less than 5 minutes. Instead of President Erying and President Uchtdorf speaking, the two Priesthood leaders that spoke were Elder Rasband and the concluding speaker was Elder Russell M. Nelson. Also, this is the first time that a woman spoke. It was Sister Rosemary Wixom the General President of the Primary.

It would be interesting to know the reasons behind the changes.

During Elder Nelson's talk, there was a video that played of Elder Russell M Nelson and young children circling around him and singing to him.

Sidenote: Elder Ronald Rasband was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation. In April 2009, Rasband became the senior and presiding member of the Presidency of the Seventy. Elder Russell M Nelson is the fourth most senior apostle among the ranks of the church hierarchy. Recently, both of these men have been influential in the decision making to remove the church membership of local author for writing a book about Church History.



Bruce said...

You know, I too thought the "batting order" was a little weird.. Here we have President Monson up first in the weakest position, and we have Elder Nelson in the power position as the final speaker…with the multi-media deep voice of Christ speaking throughout his presentation to give added weight to Elder Nelson's message. Is this the rise of Elder Nelson as the power behind the throne? And thanks for bringing this to my attention...the picture of children surrounding and singing to Elder Nelson is horrifying.

Rob said...

what were they singing?

James said...

I was touched by President Monson's brief remarks about the Savior. The choir and orchestra were top notch as usual. The other talks are sort of a blur. I find the church's new "hollywood reverb voice" for deity (as used here in Elder Nelson's multimedia talk and in the new temple film) quite disturbing to my spirit. I wasn't going to say anything with my family there during the devotional when that voice was used, but then my 6-year old blurts out that she thought the voice of Jesus was "scary". Couldn't have agreed more!

@ Rob: They sang the primary song "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus"; he said it was his favorite.

Rob said...

Thanks. They could have done worse!

Brett said...

It's been rumored that Pres. Monson has at least mild demensia. This could be a reason to subtly decrease his role.

Anonymous said...

I think this is as good a post as any to comment on....i'm not a big on making comments on blogs, but i can't remain silent much more. I just want to say how much this blog has impacted me in my life, your insight is so inspired and has helped me so much in my life. I've read through starting at day one for the past few months and devoured your entries. you posted some time back on different levels of faith, and i think i'm just starting the 3rd phase, i've woken up so to speak. And still a little saddened at the state of things and i'm having a very hard time not being able to discuss things with anyone...My wife does not know how i feel about things. i've read most of Snuffer's blog and read PTHG and 2nd comforter and was lead to you in my journey on the Pure Mormonism site...anyway long story which isn't really contributing, but i just wanted to say that i have a testimony of our Savior and you have strengthened that for me and i really appreciate that.. i know it's important to search for myself and i have started that and i'm glad to read your words, they make me think and i feel a kindred spirit when i read them...i feel we are the same age, at least close to it....anyway....just wanted to let you know the impact you've had in my life and helping me with my journey...i did have one question or comment... you don't have to answer but i'd be interested in how your wife feels about the things you write about? i know you mentioned she's aware of it, but i'm trying to work through introducing\waking up my wife and i haven't found a good way to do it....she's had some glimpses, like she knows something is different or isn't quite right, ( she brought up this very post actually, thought it was odd how short Pres. Monson spoke etc... ) but really rejects some of the things I've quoted from sources, anyway, i'd like to hear others as well on how they've reconciled with their spouses or whatever, and keep up the good work man!



Thank you for the kind words. To briefly respond to some of your questions. Recently I have become more aware of many people who are struggling in their marriages not because of money issues, debt, addictions, or infidelity.. but because of differences in spirituality. Usually one spouse wakes up before the other.This causes friction, anger, and in some cases divorce. In my opinion, patience, gentle persuasion is required.... as well as long-suffering, meekness, and love unfeigned.

I consider myself a blessed man, since I am grateful that my wife shares and sees things similar as I do

Anonymous said...

@ Hagoth... I'm not sure. My wife loves me, as I presumes yours does to you, and knows I've always been a bit out there. I slowly just introduced to her the ideas and always said it is ETERNALLY IMPORTANT! We are talking about our own eternal salvation here! I started just saying that I've been reading this guy's blog, Denver's, and he claims to have seen the Lord. Truth is enlightening. It is joyful! Don't give up. Let her know that you have no question of Joseph Smith being a prophet and the Book of Mormon being true (assuming you don't). That you love your membership in the church (assuming you do). But you wants what is best for your family.

My wife fought back but I am persistent. She loves me and slowly considers the possibilities but don't demand anything or force her hand. You married her believing certain things as did she and she deserves to believe as she desires and you both deserve love and devotion for each other. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

@ Hagoth -- that is one of the biggest challenges I think I have faced. While I have always followed my own path, this was never an issue between my wife and I until about 3 1/2 to 4 years ago. I had an experience with the Savior. In the spirit I went to my wife and explained to her what had transpired, that my life would change and that I truly did want this to be a path that both of us would walk together. At first, because of the content of the message I had received, she was very upset. Every marriage, every path is different. Since that time my wife and I have weathered so much together. The Lord is every patient, and will never give knowledge that is not requested, that you are not prepared to receive. This is a double edge sword. The veil parts both ways, as well as ask, and ye shall receive. Well, what happens in that moment of faith, when Heaven truly answers. As it is an independent path, for me not everything along the path has been easy to receive. I know my wife has had to trust and have faith in the things i have received and where this path has gone since that time. I too, have had to trust and have faith in the things she has received. It has been challenging as on very few occasions have my wife and I truly been in the kingdom realm at the same time, sharing the same exact experience, receiving the same exact knowledge. It has taken time. Maybe it is our personalities, maybe it is the challenge and balance of the masculine and feminine--we experience and receive things differently. Same God, same spirit, both connecting to our Holy Ghost--but its different too.

The path can not at all be easy. I think of Joseph Smith, all that he became and what he experienced. And then to breath that spiritual reality into mortality, it must have been hard for those closest to him, especially his wife. Not to deviate too much, but by example only, to consider that Joseph experienced a spiritual familial reality and then attempted to manifest that reality here, must have really turned people against him (and it did!).

Maybe I'm speaking out of place, and maybe the path is easier for others. I have so much to learn and develop--as has been noted above ... patience, gentle persuasion is required.... as well as long-suffering, meekness, and love unfeigned. It isn't always easy. You do pray, you do receive. You wrestle with the truthfullness of things. Is it truly from Heaven, from the Holy Ghost, or is it me? And when you do pray, and the veil does open, what do you do with what is shown, received? If and when it does challenge those we love most, do we stop praying, do we ignore the truth that comes...we have to be sensitive with others (as so many are patient and sensitive with me on my path). Do we allow them to continue to believe as they do? And when it is your wife? No easy answers, for sure. Joseph was definately right about the sacrifice of all things. I'm not sure if I have a clear, complete answer to this one, as i have also struggled with it. It is so deep, and very complex.

I noticed that on another blog some comments had been made specific to this topic ...


Anonymous said...

Thank you all for you kind words and letting me know that I am not alone in this.... I know the Lord is there as well and i know that he is the center of our marriage and honestly as I've been going through my "awakening" i didn't expect to her to jump on board right away....it's a pretty big shift to deal with :-) In a way, I feel the Lord guided me first to information, blogs etc.... It's just hard sometimes when I have had burst of insight and want to share and I have to water it down or tread lightly, but for now, i know that is what i must do...The Lord opens doors for sure and in fact the day i posted my comments we had a long discussion about some topics. I guess I just don't expect her to respond or react like other members when you start talking about these things, so it hurts a little when she looks at me like she's concerned that i'm going apostate :-) The advice about baring testimony was very helpful. The counsel to be patent, gentle, love unfeigned hits home for sure. Thank you all again so much!! Unknown and all of the Anon's, it means so much to hear others insights on this, thank you again, may the Lord bless you for your desire to help a simple truth seeker :-)


Anonymous said...

i need to clarify my above comment to avoid confusion:
"I guess I just don't expect her to respond or react like other members when you start talking about these things"

should really read "I guess I just don't expect her to respond or react like other members when I start talking about these things"

didn't want to give the impression i was meaning the writer of the blog :-) sorry if it may have caused confusion . #1 reason i don't post comments on blogs...i'm horrible at editing :-)


Walter said...

Dearest member,

Elder Nelson's broadcasted experience with his grandchildren so inspired me that I decided to have a similar experience with my grandchildren. I have written about it on my new "blog" at this address: