Latest from Mormon Land: Biden and Trump would fit in with many LDS apostles — age-wise

Also: The use and misuse of forgiveness in abuse cases; why journalists keep using that pesky nickname; an art dispute erupts at BYU-Hawaii; and an art exhibit comes to Provo.

(The New York Times) Former President Donald Trump, left, is 77, and President Joe Biden is 81.

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The gray scale

By historic standards, Joe Biden and his chief rival in the 2024 election, Donald Trump, would be seen as old for U.S. presidents.

Biden, who turned 81 in November, is, in fact, the nation’s oldest-ever commander in chief, and Trump, at 77, isn’t far behind.

But both would rank in the middle of the pack among the church’s current senior — emphasis on senior — leadership. Six of the 15 apostles are older than the Democratic president; seven are older than the Republican front-runner.

All three members of the governing First Presidency are in their 90s, led by 99-year-old President Russell Nelson. He is followed in age by his counselors, Dallin Oaks, 91, and Henry Eyring, 90.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Members of the First Presidency, President Russell M. Nelson, center, with President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor, left, and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor, smile at the beginning of the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City in December 2023. All three are in their 90s.

Three apostles are in their 80s — Jeffrey Holland, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, Dieter Uchtdorf and Quentin Cook are 83.

D. Todd Christofferson, who turned 79 last week, is the next most elderly elder. Five other apostles also are in their 70s; three are in their 60s. The youngest is the newest, Patrick Kearon. He’s 62.

The average age of the faith’s Big 15 is 77 years old.

To 71-year-old apostle David Bednar, all those years add up to invaluable life experiences and spiritual maturity.

“Some people have suggested younger, more vigorous leaders are needed in the church to address effectively the serious challenges of our modern world,” Bednar said in a 2015 General Conference sermon. “... [But] these men have had a sustained season of tutoring by the Lord. … The limitations that are the natural consequence of advancing age can in fact become remarkable sources of spiritual learning and insight.”

So, yes, while there is plenty of gray in the White House, the hair is even grayer (or largely missing) at the top of church headquarters.

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(Courtesy) Tamarra Kemsley, Salt Lake Tribune religion reporter.

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The latest ‘Mormon Land’ podcast: Forgiveness in abuse cases

(Courtesy and AP) (Courtesy and AP photos) Latter-day Saint theologian In a "Mormon Land" podcast, Deidre Nicole Green, left, and Chelsea Goodrich, who has accused her father of molesting her during childhood, challenge a version of "cheap forgiveness" that, they say, Latter-day Saints and other Christian communities sometimes use, papering over real and, at times, systemic harm.

Chelsea Goodrich, the focus of a recent Associated Press story, and Deidre Nicole Green, a Latter-day Saint and theologian, discuss how forgiveness sometimes is weaponized in abuse cases.

Listen to the podcast and read the story.

Clarity counts

(Charles Dharapak | AP) The Washington headquarters for National Public Radio in 2013. NPR's public editor explains why journalists still may use the "Mormon" term in stories.

This story from National Public Radio’s public editor partly explains why reporters still use the “Mormon” moniker from time to time when discussing the Utah-based church and its members.

The key explanation: “Clarity drives the language that journalists use. When the terms come up in a news story, journalists want to make sure the audience knows exactly what organization they are talking about.”

Of course, as the article notes, those terms could change at some point.

From The Tribune

(Brigham Young University-Hawaii) The controversial mosaic stands at the entrance of the David O. McKay Building at Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

• Nearly three years ago, the Teichert tiff erupted. While those treasured Manti Temple art pieces were saved, the church now finds itself mired in another mural muss, this time over plans to tear down a landmark building at Brigham Young University-Hawaii and remove the controversial mosaic it houses.

• Eight degrees of glory? No, but a retired Utah priest explores eight models of heaven in his new book.

• Public tours of St. George’s Red Cliffs Temple are underway in advance of its March 24 dedication.

• An art exhibition coming to Provo will feature paintings of Jesus as a person of color, with an “emphasis on cultural expression and historical accuracy.”

(Eternity Stovall) "Joy in the Storms" is one of many depictions of Jesus that will be on display at Provo's Writ & Vision from Feb. 2-24 as part of a gallery aimed at reimagining Jesus as a person of color.