Russel M. Nelson attended my great-uncle’s funeral. Even as a TBM, I was disgusted.

My great-uncle was duped into the church back in Switzerland and later emigrated to "Zion" (Utah) as a young man. I always remembered him for his thick Swiss accent and his beautiful stories of Europe and being in the Swiss Army.

At his funeral about 7 years ago, Russel M. Nelson made a surprise guest appearance like some celebrity arriving unannounced at a public event. If people could have cheered, they would have. I remember my dad practically punched me to stand up like everyone else when that guy entered the chapel. Everyone was grinning ear-to-ear as he walked in with a platoon of security guards and made his way to the pulpit. It was so fascist, I hated it.

He commanded everyone to sit down after a moment of looking over the crowd with an unsettling grin. The look on his face was one of man who clearly upheld himself as the most important man in the room. He then gave an attempt at some comforting words for the life of a man he clearly had never known. He used my great-uncle's position as a relatively unique member of TSCC to peddle church PR. Would he have done this if my uncle was a Mormon-born member raised in Utah? Probably not. I remember being frustrated that all who were present were practically drooling over the ground he walked on. This man who was supposed to be the equivalent of one of Christ's Apostles, a mere mortal man bound to the service of God still held to the same standards everyone else was held to. Yet here he was being worshipped more so as an Emperor Caesar superior to all present.

When all was said and done, he shook my great-aunt's hand (also from Switzerland) before storming out of the chapel with his entourage without saying a word or giving a glance to anyone else. He did not stay for the rest. His demeanor made it clear it was something he believed to be beneath him, to take a seat in the chapel among his lowly following and respectfully honor my great-uncle's memory. The words of close loved ones spoken on the pulpit were all pushed aside and practically forgotten that day so this man could show up both unannounced and uninvited and further inflate his ego. Nobody discussed what was said afterward, all they could talk about was the spectacular appearance of an "Apostle of the Lord."


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