I just read this article on how the succession proceeds in the event of the death of the prophet. It stirred up some thoughts:
First, on a practical level, I didn’t realize that the Quorum of the Twelve could decide NOT to call a prophet at that time. I also didn’t realize that even though they have traditionally chosen the senior apostle, that’s not a requirement. So, while it’s very likely that Thomas Monson will be the next prophet and president of the church, it’s not a done deal. Well, it pretty much is.
Second, I find it exciting and comforting to know that there is an order, a method to this. I like that there is no campaigning nor elections for title. There’s no wondering, no manipulations, nothing.
I feel the same way about
Third, once the decision is made who is to be my prophet, it is MY responsibility to decide whether or not to follow him. Do I really believe that God called him? Do I trust him to lead me where I need to go? Ultimately, I need to pray and receive my own testimony of the divine calling of the new prophet.
In my case, that’s going to be particularly easy. I’ve heard Pres Monson speak (both in telecast and in person), and I’ve felt the strong witness of the Holy Spirit as I’ve listened to his words. I trust the man to lead me.
Fourth, even though I trust him, I can’t help but speculate where he’ll take the church in the next 20 years or so of his life. It will be fascinating to see, especially with the current media attention. As the Chinese have said, “May you live in interesting times…”