Ralph Hancock: Donald Trump, President Monson and the times we live in

On Jan. 2, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lost a beloved president and prophet, and everyone lost a man of extraordinary talents and of consummate character and deeply benevolent goodness.

I’m old, and President Monson’s face and voice have been a familiar, friendly presence since he was ordained an apostle when I was 12. His church service and leadership over a long lifetime drew upon and perfected qualities that any attentive observer could see immediately in his not notably handsome but endearing countenance: He combined firmness in the right with a mild and humble solicitude for others; his prodigious memory for faces (and everything else, it seems) and his love and concern for the souls behind those faces were the stuff of true legend.

Not many can project not only Christian love, but dignity and even gravity to an audience of millions while wiggling his ears for the special benefit of one boy. President Monson was a steady anchor to the LDS community and a firm and reasonable representative of LDS beliefs to the world at large. We remember him and his life of service with admiration and gratitude.

It may seem inappropriate, if not obscene, to mention President Donald Trump in the same column with President Monson. Their characters are as unlike as can be imagined. When reports of Michael Wolff’s sensationalist and careless (to say the least) “The Fire and the Fury” first appeared, I didn’t want to believe the depiction of a president who was completely unfit by temperament as well as by intellect. But I admit I was tempted. If you’ve read my columns over the last year and a half, you know that, while avoiding the somewhat facile “high ground” of Never-Trumpism, I’ve never been any kind of fan.

When Mitt Romney harshly criticized candidate Trump as a vulgar and immoral bully, someone who bragged about his sexual exploits and who mocked a disabled reporter as well as John McCain’s heroism as a prisoner of war, I immediately sympathized, even though I saw Romney’s political limitations. I resonated with Romney’s criticisms because Trump’s character defects had been on full display for decades.

Wolff’s reporting, it turns out, is very sloppy, even mendacious. And we have to be open to the possibility — indeed, we have to pray — that Trump is actually in the process of growing up. In any case, the left’s gathering project …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

      

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