I am an institute student in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Yes, there really is a Kala-mazoo) and we have loved your insights and have watched and followed you closely in Mormon Town. (Did your mother tell you as mine did, that you are always being watched?)
My question is centered around a discussion we had in Institute this past Wednesday. Since no one, including the instructor seemed to know the answer, I piped up with, “I’ll go ask Gramps!” and everyone looked at me rather strange. I had the opportunity to introduce you in a wonderful way. Now for the question: In Samuel, Saul was the Lord’s anointed and he became unrighteous. Samuel anointed David. Why did David remain so loyal to Saul and honor him even though David had been anointed to be the new king?
We will be anxiously waiting your reply. Thank you for your time and your thoughtfulness, and your devotion to the Gospel.
Samuel anointed David to be the eventual king of Israel before he had any contact with Saul. We read from the scriptures that when he was anointed by Samuel “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him from that day forward,” but it departed from King Saul. To sooth Saul’s troubled mind his servants suggested that David, who was an accomplished harpist, be called to come to Saul’s court to play the harp for him. We are told that David loved Saul greatly, and he became his armor bearer. Shortly, however, through jealousy and fear, Saul became David’s avowed enemy.
From the first moment of David’s association with Saul he knew that he would replace him as king. As you know, David had many opportunities to take Saul’s life. Yet, he was loyal to the throne. Rather than honoring Saul, is seems that David honored the office of king of the people for which Saul had been anointed by a servant of the Lord.
David provided a worthy example for all of us to follow in our ecclesiastical relationships. First, we know that there are no perfect people. Even those anointed by the Lord to preside over us in our day, our bishops and stake presidents, are not immune from iniquity and error. There are among us those who would almost take matters into their own hands attempting to depose an authority that presides over them because of their impression of wrong doing on the part of their leaders. Such feelings and actions are never appropriate. The Lord is in control of His kingdom. Saul suffered the consequences of his own iniquity, and the Lord removed him from office in his own way and in his own time. How appropriate it is for us to follow David’s example and to love and sustain those who preside over us as long as they remain in the office of their callings.