On Elder Hamula

You have likely heard that a member of the 70 was recently released and excommunicated. Elder Hamula was the mission president of a member of the bishopric who spoke in the ward I visited today. He reminded me of two things.

First, I have sometimes wryly remarked that perhaps Mormons would be less inclined to put Church leaders on high pedestals if they fell from them more often, since the last Apostle excommunicated was Elder Richard R. Lyman in 1943. In all honesty, I’m quite surprised this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often. George Q. Cannon saw a silver lining in such excommunications.

Do not… put your trust in man though he be a Bishop, an Apostle or a President; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone; but if we lean on God, He never will fail us. When men and women depend on God alone and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside. … Perhaps it is His own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His Saints may learn to trust in Him and not in any man or woman

– Elder George Q. Cannon, as quoted and elaborated on here by a LDS historian. My underline.

So, let’s not speculate, but refocus our faith where it ought to be.

Second, I just feel bad for the guy. The only thing worse than making serious mistakes is having it publicly known that You Really Screwed Up. Whatever you yourself do, in person, on the internet, etc. take thought. How would you feel if your words or actions were known publicly? I can’t find it at the moment, but on my mission, I found a teaching from Joseph F. smith to the extent of “never do anything in private that you would be ashamed of in public.”

There but for the grace of God go you and I.

4 thoughts on “On Elder Hamula

  1. (He was my mission president and I know every missionary thinks the world of their MP…but I’m telling you, he really was something special. He and my dad are probably the two men who had the most influence on me…and I’m not certain of the order. My heart just aches for him and his family.)

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  2. My heart aches for his wife and children. We heard him speak when we lived in Northern VA while he was mission president, and yes, he was impressive. But no one is immune to the temptations of Satan and we have to be on guard at all times. By the way, Elder George P. Lee, of the Seventy, was excommunicated in 1989. You might not be old enough to remember.

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    1. I was 13 at the time, don’t remember what I heard. I left him out because there are enough 70s to be, well, interchangeable. Apostles are few enough to be a different category, and I didn’t want anyone to think “oh well, that might be possible for a mere 70, but surely not ever an Apostle!”

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