When the sun first sets and the stars begin to appear, you only see a few pin-pricked holes of light. However, as your eyes adjust and the nights deepen, thousands upon thousands of stars start to appear. Before you know in, you are in the midst of so much light and beauty.
Revelation often works like this and I think it can help us understand and appreciate the importance of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and changes in church leadership.
Imagine a bit, a drop of revelation, as a single star. You have this wonderful piece of information to act upon and magnify. In our individual lives, this is often all we need to move forward. Yet, in group settings, God often scatters revelation amongst multiple people. When they come together, a brilliant, illuminated scene unfolds.
Consider a family, where a wife, husband, and children all bring their bits of revelation to solve a family problem.
Consider a Relief Society sitting in council on the first Sunday of the month, sharing revelation on how they can serve with love.
Consider the Bishopric that councils each week on how to bring their ward members closer to Christ.
Consider the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency. Fifteen men, with different personalities and different experiences, called of God to lead His church. Each one with their own special witness of Christ.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s obvious not everyone is happy with the recent changes in church leadership. It’s understandable in many ways. For years we get used to things being as they are. We gravitate to those leaders who most provide what we need and whose way of thinking most match our own.
It is important, with the principle of scattered revelation in mind, to try and understand why the Lord would use such different people to lead his church.
The optimism and energy of President Nelson. The love and mercy of Elder Uchtdorf. The no-nonsense doctrinal focus of President Oaks. The passion and fire of Elder Holland. It goes on and on.
Joined together, these men are able to take their varying viewpoints and their different pieces of revelation to find the complete and whole vision God wants them to have. They act unanimously on behalf of the Lord to guide us.
No leaders in the church will ever be perfect. Individually, you may not feel connected to their speaking style or even their personal opinions on doctrines and policies. In a recent press conference, President Dallin H. Oaks, the newly called First Counselor to the First Presidency, said, “We don’t believe in the infallibility of our leaders.”
However, there is so much beauty in God’s plan to take people who are so different and bring them together to lead the church. As mentioned earlier, this isn’t just about walking in faith with our General Authorities. It’s about walking in faith every day, gathering our own beautiful bits of revelation, and working together to accomplish the great Plan of Happiness.
Only then, when we become a Zion people knit together with one heart, will we truly obtain the glory that surpasses the stars.