Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Mantle of an Apostle

OK, here's another thing that stuck out at me from Conference. I don't remember who it was (and I'm feeling too lazy to look it up) who mentioned that Elder Christofferson would be ordained (in other words, that he was not yet ordained). Perhaps that future ordination explains something I have noticed for years when our new apostles have been called. They speak the day they are called. They always give a sweet, humble talk. You can feel they are overwhelmed, and that they love the gospel and the Savior with all of their hearts.

But I have noticed, without exception that I can think of, that there is a difference the next time they speak. They are bold. They speak with authority and power. Of course, some of that probably comes with six months of experience, but I couldn't help but wonder if it also was that the mantle of the calling had descended on them.

Has anyone else sensed something like this?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

My discussion with an ex Bishop touched on this idea, he could feel the mantle when he received it and when he was released the absence of it briefly felt like abandonment to him as he adjusted to experiencing less of the Spirit.

Howard

SilverRain said...

Invariably. I've also noticed how they just seem to fit the calling. I don't know any of the men involved in that part of the Church, but the calls always feel "right".

Justin said...

It was President Packer:

"Yesterday Elder D. Todd Christofferson became the 96th Apostle to serve in the Twelve in this dispensation. He will be ordained an Apostle and given all the priesthood keys conferred upon the other 14 prophets, seers, and revelators—Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ."

M&M said...

Howard, thanks for sharing that. I think I have heard similar things.

SilverRain, I agree. This was yet another 'yup, that clicks' kind of call.

Justin, thanks for doing my work for me. :)

Papa D said...

I have seen it with bishops and stake presidents and mission presidents and apostles and Presidents. However, just as importantly, I have seen it with RS Presidents and YW Presidents and an Activities Committee Chairman and Primary Teachers. We usually don't speak of it as a "mantle" for these latter callings, but the practical effect is essentially the same for ALL worthy members functioning in a calling and set apart by the Priesthood. They are "set apart" to perform specific things, and I think we ponder that far too little in the Church.

M&M said...

papa d, I agree.

OK, so now, how would you explain what a mantle is to someone not of our faith, or to someone in our faith confused by it? :)

M&M said...

I've thought of this question, but am interested in others' thoughts....

Papa D said...

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

"Heb. me'il, frequently applied to the "robe of the ephod" (Ex. 28:4, 31; Lev. 8:7), which was a splendid under tunic wholly of blue, reaching to below the knees. It was woven without seam, and was put on by being drawn over the head. It was worn not only by priests but by kings (1 Sam. 24:4), prophets (15:27), and rich men (Job 1:20; 2:12). This was the "little coat" which Samuel's mother brought to him from year to year to Shiloh (1 Sam. 2:19), a miniature of the official priestly robe."

So, in our time, WordNet 3.0 (Princeton University): "the cloak as a symbol of authority"

The "mantle" is symbolic of being covered by a special priestly robe that testifies to others of the authority of the wearer. Since we don't wear actual mantles, as they did in OT times, we speak of a spiritual mantle - something that we "see" settling on someone like a sense of power or authority - something that says, "This person speaks and acts for God in his or her sphere."

Anonymous said...

I would say the mantel is revelation including discernment but limited in scope to those within the boundaries of the calling.

Thanks Papa D for mentioning RS Presidents and YW Presidents and an Activities Committee Chairman and Primary Teachers, I wondered if it extended to these callings.

Howard

M&M said...

Thanks for your thoughts! Keep 'em coming!