Voice of our Leaders (Poll)

The first day of the 181st Semiannual General Conference is in the books. I’m not sure if the speakers and music keep getting better or if I’m just getting older. But it seems that the messages delivered at conference are more timely, more relevant and more specifically directed at me.

Still, there are voices that I miss greatly. As devoted members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we listen to a lot of talks. Think of how many times you’ve listened to church President Thomas S. Monson. A few conferences ago, my wife and I were impressed with our 16-year-old because he could identify the voices of the First Presidency and most of the senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The voices of our leaders become very familiar and when they are not there, whether it’s due to illness or death, we miss them — especially during this time of the year.

Whose voice do you miss? Here is my top five and why I miss them. What do you think? Leave your favorites and your reasons.

5. President Spencer W. Kimball: He was the prophet of my early youth. I still smile when I hear the raspy voice of his voice aided by that special microphone hooked to his glasses. I’ll never forget President Kimball’s voice when, as a young deacon, I heard him compare the law of chastity to a river.

4. Elder Bruce R. McConkie: He was a bit dry and controversial, but I like controversial. Plus, who can forget his inspirational last testimony? I was just 17 and half asleep on the couch when my father told me I should pay attention. This apostle was going to die soon and may say something profound, he told me. I did, and he most certainly did.

3. Elder David B. Haight: I miss his football stories. I will never forget his story about his small football team punting the ball on 2nd and 3rd downs because they simply didn’t want the ball. His way of just reminiscing made him a “real” person and make us feel full of hope.

2. President Gordon B. Hinckley: He was so down-to-earth and said exactly what we were thinking. And his positive attitude made us all feel like we could endure anything and have fun doing it. He was our prophet for over a decade and we knew him. He let us in as he bravely suffered through the loss of his beloved wife. We could tell that he loved us, the Lord and the work. And we loved him.

1. Elder Neal A. Maxwell: I have written a few posts about Elder Maxwell. His talks were so doctrinally dense and peppered with creative alliteration. I have a collection of his talks on my iPod, and just hearing his voice calms my spirit in a very turbulent world. He was a tireless disciple of the Lord who brought us some of the most memorable one-liners ever.

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4 Responses to Voice of our Leaders (Poll)

  1. Diane says:

    Hands down, I miss President Hinckley the most. However, I agree with others that that have posted. Bednar reminds so much of Maxwell that at times it feels like his (Maxwell’s) voice is still with us.

  2. Diane says:

    President Parker,
    I have wondered the same thing… is it that as we grow older we become more sensitive to those things that matter most, like taking the time to truly listen and take notes during General Conference?

    One thing I have really noticed in these GC sessions, is how each of the speakers seems more “real”. What I mean by that is, we seem to be getting more glimpses of the General Authorities’ personalities, interests, likes, dislikes, sense of humor and plain old “humanness.” They are ordinary people that have been called to do extraordinary work. This gives me encouragement and confidence that maybe I can do more… should do more.

    But, like you said. This increased awareness on my part may be more about me and where I currently am spiritually, rather than anything different that our church leaders are doing. 🙂

  3. Troy says:

    Thanks Diane. Totally agree.

  4. Aunt Ruth says:

    As I stated on your FB I miss Neal A. Maxwell because I come from a 25 year professional writing career. When Elder Maxwell spoke, he spoke in a symbolic, poetic way in addition to his spiritual and scriptural knowledge. So along with his demeanor and soft spoken voice he conveyed profound thought and gospel doctrine. The substance of his sermons were deep. I almost had to catch myself saying, “Now, what did he say.? I wanted him to repeat it so I would have time to internalize and ponder what he had just said. I remember him saying (and I paraphrase), “It has only been in recent times since people started saying they love mankind, that neighbors have suffered so much neglect.” Another one, “So often what people need is to be enveloped in the environment of real response. People need to be sheltered from the storms of live in the sanctuary of belonging. So often we search for group service projects which are surely needed and commendable…when also quiet christian service is needed. We need to do some thing together and some things personally.”…..Food for thought. One last statement from him…”So many of us become demanders but where are the providers?” Let’s just say that Elder Maxwell usually took my breathe away.

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