This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
If you're not LDS, you might want to stop reading right now. Today's column only really concerns believing Mormons. Unless, of course, you're just idly looking for something Mormon to rant about. Then, please, do read on.
Come to think of it, believing Mormons might want to stop reading right now, too. The column posits a deeply troubling possibility that could shake to the core the strongest testimony of the restored gospel.
It begins with a simple question: What if it were announced in the next LDS General Conference that Elder Robert L. Kirby had been called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ?
Upon regaining your senses, you would look more closely. There I'd be in a dark suit, white shirt, blue tie, and no mustache, sitting right next to Elder Neil L. Andersen, assuming he hadn't already gotten up and moved by then.
Seeing me in the red seats would almost certainly cause fellow Mormons to re-examine their commitment to the church. Reactions would range from abrupt apostasy to the horrible realization that we truly are living in the Last Days.
"Oh, good Lord, no!"
"They called Kirby to be a what?"
"What kind of church would call someone like him to be an apostle when a monkey would do a much better job?"
I'll tell you what kind of church. A church not run by the likes of you. Seriously, have you EVER had the Lord inquire of you as to who the next apostle should be? That's what I thought. So you can shut up.
Besides, all I'm saying is what if? Stranger things have happened. Jesus chose apostles he knew would deny him, doubt him, betray him, fall asleep on him, and pester him with any number of stupid questions.
I'm not smart enough to do those sorts of things. Back then, the Lord would have had his hands full just getting me to show up on time.
Also, Joseph Smith lost a bunch of his apostles to apostasy and excommunication. I don't have sufficient ambition to be bad enough to get kicked out of the church.
Assuming it happened, it's not like I could screw things up. There's a huge cushion between me and the church's membership, one large enough to keep you from being called to a welfare hog farm (Arabic speaking) mission.
Including the prophet, there would still be 15 general authorities ahead of me. That's enough votes to make me preside over myself in a utility closet for the rest of my life.
Speaking of which, I would never outlive all the other general authorities in order to become the prophet. To my knowledge, none of the other brethren mess around with gunpowder and cannons, or have a mentally ill friend named Sonny.
Being the most junior apostle, I would undoubtedly get the worst jobs. My assignments would be no-brainer chores.
I'd be sent to dedicate an LDS seminary building in Yemen. I would speak at middle school graduations and car wash grand openings. They might put me in charge of recycling tithing envelopes.
There's no way I would get the apostleship job I wanted, which is to be responsible for church security and paramilitary operations. The church would be a lot of things if that happened, but it wouldn't be boring.
Don't worry. There's an infinitesimal chance that I'll be called as an apostle. I'm certainly not going to wait by the phone.
If the call does come, you'll know for sure. Look for me in the red seats at General Conference. I'll be the one who waves back.