Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

70 dies at 64

December 30th, 2016 by John Mansfield

Provo’s Daily Herald reports the death of Bruce Porter, an LDS General Authority. His death leaves me with questions, all of them irrelevant:

I. Why did the 1st and 2nd Seventies Quorums become “the Quorums” with any difference between the two obscured? A few months ago I was curious which of the two a particular General Authority was a member of. I couldn’t find an answer.

II. Who was the last General Authority to die this young?

III. Does his early death make Elder Porter the Carrie Fisher of recent General Authorities? Without the substance abuse probably, but just last night we were reading from a family collection of church service mission accounts in which one of my wife’s aunts spoke of the variety of people served in an addiction recovery program: some very rough on the edges, and others who look like any fellow saint you see in a sacrament meeting.

IV. If Elder Porter is Carrie Fisher, is Debbie Reynolds going to leave a vacancy among the Twelve tomorrow?

I told you they were all irrelevant.

Comments (6)
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December 30th, 2016 12:54:17

Kent G. Budge
December 30, 2016

Elder Porter was the son of Lyle Porter, who was serving as my stake president when I was a young child growing up in Los Alamos. My father was the bishop of the Los Alamos Ward and worked closely with President Porter for many years, and thought the world of him. President Porter later became a Regional Representative, roughly the equivalent of an Area Authority Seventy nowadays. I didn’t know his son, but my wife grew up with his daughter and we double dated with her and her husband once.

Small world.

December 30, 2016

Elder Matthew Cowley, of the Q12, of New Zealand mission fame, died at age 56 in 1953. But I don’t know if any GA’s have crossed the veil at a younger age since then.

Elder Hyrum M Smith, of the Q12, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrum_M._Smith
son of Joseph F. Smith, brother of Joseph Fielding Smith, died at age 45.

Wiki says he died of a ruptured appendix. I seem to recall reading somewhere that he delayed seeking medical attention, which supposedly contributed to his death. He was called to the Q12 prior to George Albert Smith, David O McKay, and his brother Joseph Fielding Smith. Born in 1872, had Hyrum M Smith lived to at least age 73 and change, he would have become president of the church upon the passing of Heber J Grant in 1945.

The knee of the mortality curve for members of the Order of the Y-chromosome begins in our 50’s. Mainly heart disease, stroke, and cancers.

January 3, 2017

Elder Abraham O. Woodruff, son of Wilford Woodruff, and member of the Q12, died of smallpox in 1904 at age 31. Born Nov 3, 1872, had he lived to at least age 72 and change, he could have been president of the church upon the passing of Heber J. Grant, as he was senior to both Hyrum M Smith and George Albert Smith.

John Mansfield
January 5, 2017

An unexpected follow-up: Yesterday flying from Baltimore to Salt Lake City, I stood up to stretch. Walking to the back, I found a couple I’ve known for thirteen years. They were traveling to a funeral for her brother. The brother is Elder Porter.

January 5, 2017

Funerals and stake/regional conferences make for good Mormon reunions, or reunions for Mormons.

Anyhoo, I love those kinds serendipitous reunions or of meeting new people with some kind of connection to people to whom you are already connected.

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