Michael Otterson Mormon

Well that was quick. A mere two weeks since announcing his retirement from 40 years of employ in public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, outgoing Managing Director of Public Affairs Michael Otterson has answered a call to serve with his wife as the President and matron, respectively, of the London England Temple.

You would not be remiss if you missed the announcement. The Church released a new list of incoming temple presidents on 9 May, and buried down near the bottom are Brother and Sister Otterson.

Let’s note here that a number of temples are on this list, but the headline cites Star Valley and Hartford—both brand new, soon-to-be-dedicated temples—and then London. The press release writers be like, “Let’s totally embarrass the boss and make him seem a bit more special than that fella taking over Chicago.” Also, the Philadelphia Temple is also new and clearly got bumped from the headline in favor of a reference Otterson. Because honestly, do many of us normally care when a new president is called at the London England Temple?

You likely know Brother Otterson best as, “Hey, it’s that English guy who tries to mollify critics!” He has steered the public face of the LDS Church through a period of evolving and growing involvement in public issues, gay rights, and religious freedom.

Now, as temple president, Otterson will have the chance to focus exclusively on the second fold in the four-fold mission of the Church. Hopefully after years of fielding questions and guiding the Church through turbulent waters, he will have the opportunity to assume that quiet, amiable temple president persona, one who does not crack the jokes or act lively in stake conference (that’s the mission president’s job).

Otterson’s tenure as PR head lasts through August 2016 and he will begin serving in the London Temple in November of the same year.

How about in honor of his time in public affairs, we get media outlets to consider actually following the style guide at the Mormon Newsroom, eh?