Succession In The Presidency
The succession in the modern presidency is recent. After Joseph Smith was martyred, a succession crisis occurred at that time. The process for succession is now well established.
As opposed to much of the news coverage you may see on this matter, there is no ambiguity on who succeeds whom. Each apostle currently has a fixed place in the Church hierarchy. Succession takes place automatically and the new prophet is sustained in the next General Conference session. The Church continues on as normal.
Early in Church history, there were gaps in between prophets. During these gaps, the Church was led by the 12 apostles. This does not occur anymore. Succession now takes place automatically.
Succession In Lds Church Leadership Swift And Seamless
The death of President Thomas S. Monson, or any prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, starts the process of rebooting the existing leadership of the church.
According to LDS Church information, the appointment of a new president of the Church happens in an orderly way that remarkably in todays world avoids any trace of internal lobbying for position or rank.
Since the death of President Spencer W. Kimball on Nov. 5, 1985, the longest it has taken to call and set apart a new prophet was nine days. That was following the death of President Howard W. Hunter on March 3, 1995. His successor, Gordon B. Hinckley was sustained March 12, 1995. The average time from the death of a prophet, his funeral, and then a new prophet called and set apart is about six days.
The transition procedure is set, by tradition and divine revelation, in a setting of brotherly love, discussion and consensus.
The LDS Church has a specific structure, but nonetheless, relies on divine revelation in choosing and confirming the prophets successor.
According to church procedure, when the president of the church passes away, the following events take place:
Since the church was formally organized on April 6, 1830, there have been 16 presidents of the church. President Russell M. Nelson would, by tradition, be number 17.
Until then members of the church mourn the loss of their prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and celebrate his life and legacy.
Counselors To The President
When a new president of the church is selected, he chooses counselors to assist him. Most presidents have had a minimum of two counselors, but circumstances have occasionally required more than two for example, David O. McKay had five counselors during the final years of his presidency and at one point Brigham Young had eight. Counselors are usually chosen from among the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, although there have been a number of exceptions where members of the church’s Presiding Bishopric or persons from the church at large were called to be counselors. Any high priest of the church is eligible to be called as a counselor in the First Presidency. There have also been a few cases where counselors have been ordained to the priesthood office of apostle and became members of the Quorum of the Twelve after already being chosen as counselors in the First Presidency . There have been other cases where counselors have been ordained to the office of apostle but notset apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve . Other counselors in the First Presidency were never ordained to the office of apostle . Whether or not a counselor in the First Presidency is an ordained apostle, he is accepted by the church as a prophet, seer, and revelator.
You May Like: What Does The Bible Say About Lending Money
A Quick Introduction To Dispensations And Their Prophets
Ancient prophets were no different than modern ones. When wickedness is rampant, sometimes priesthood authority and power is lost. At these times, there is no prophet on the earth.
To restore priesthood authority to earth, Heavenly Father designates a prophet. The gospel and priesthood authority is restored through this prophet.
Each of these time periods where a prophet is designated is a dispensation. There have been seven total. We are living in the seventh dispensation. We are told it is the last dispensation. This dispensation will end only when Jesus Christreturns to lead his Church on this earth through the Millennium.
Timeline: Lds Churchs First Presidency Quorum Of The Twelve From 1984 To 2018
The official portrait of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks, and President Henry B. Eyring.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles, as comprised going in the April 1984 general conference
- President Spencer W. Kimball, church president, age 89, ordained an apostle on Oct. 7, 1943.
- President Marion G. Romney, first counselor, age 86, ordained an apostle on Oct. 11, 1951.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley, second counselor, age 73, ordained an apostle on Oct. 5, 1961.
Council of the Twelve Apostles
- President Ezra Taft Benson, president of the Twelve, age 84, ordained an apostle on Oct. 7, 1943
- Elder Howard W. Hunter, age 76, ordained an apostle on Oct. 15, 1959.
- Elder Thomas S. Monson, age 56, ordained an apostle on Oct 10, 1963.
- Elder Boyd K. Packer, age 59, ordained an apostle on April 9, 1970.
- Elder Marvin J. Ashton, age 68, ordained an apostle on Dec. 2, 1971.
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie, age 68, ordained an apostle on Oct. 12, 1972.
- Elder L. Tom Perry, age 61, ordained an apostle on April 11, 1974
- Elder David B. Haight, age 77, ordained an apostle on Jan. 8, 1976
- Elder James E. Faust, age 58, ordained an apostle on Oct. 1, 1978
- Elder Neal A. Maxwell, age 57, ordained an apostle on 23 July 1981
- Two vacancies with the previous passings of Elder LeGrand Richards and Elder Mark E. Petersen
Elder Bruce R. McConkie dies at age 69.
Read Also: What Is The New International Version Bible
President Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
The largest Latter Day Saint denomination is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church’s leader and the head of the First Presidency, the church’s highest governing body. Latter-day Saints consider the president of the church to be a prophet, seer, and revelator, and refer to him particularly as the Prophet, a title originally given to Joseph Smith, Jr..
Latter-day Saints consider the president of the church to be God’s spokesman to the entire world. He is considered to be the highest priesthood authority on earth, with the exclusive right to receive revelations from God on behalf of the entire church or the entire world. Modern presidents, however, have not generally continued Joseph Smith’s practice of publishing written doctrinal revelations and visions, although most have stated that they have received such.
The President of the Church serves as the head of the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes and the head of the Council of the Church. The President of the Church also serves as the ex officio chairman of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education.
List Of Presidents Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
|14 years, 2 months|
|29 years, 8 months|
|6 years, 9 months|
|9 years, 4 months|
|3 years, 1 month|
|17 years, 1 month|
|May 14, 1945||26 years, 5 months|
|5 years, 10 months|
|18 years, 9 months|
|2 years, 5 months|
|1 year, 5 months|
|11 years, 10 months|
|May 30, 1994||8 years, 6 months|
|12 years, 10 months|
|9 years, 11 months|
|97 years, 10 months||Current|
Recommended Reading: How To Understand The Bible In Context
Members Of The First Presidency Who Were Not Apostles
There is no requirement that counselors in the First Presidency be apostles of the church. The following men served as a counselor in the First Presidency during the years indicated and were never ordained to the priesthood office of apostle. For example, J. Reuben Clark was not an apostle when he became second counselor in the First Presidency on April 6, 1933, but a year and a half later, he was ordained as an apostle and became a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles for one day, on October 11, 1934.
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor to Thomas S. Monson, not retained as a counselor by Russell M. Nelson
Nelson History And Salutations
Sustained and ordained as an apostle in April 1984, Nelson visited 133 countries dedicating 31 of them during his time as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was president of that quorum from July 2015 until becoming church president, and he served as chairman of each of the Churchs three governing committees the Missionary Executive Council, the Temple and Family History Executive Council and the Priesthood and Family Executive Council.
Nelson was born Sept. 9, 1924, in Salt Lake City, the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. He married Dantzel White in 1945 and the two of them are parents to 10 children. She passed away in 2005, just shy of their 60th wedding anniversary. In 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson, who has been at his side since in his ministries as apostle and then church president.
Graduating first in his class from medical school at age 22, he received doctoral degrees from the University of Utah and University of Minnesota. A cardiothoracic surgeon, he helped pioneer the development of the artificial heart-lung machine, a means of supporting a patients circulation during open-heart surgery, according to biographical information supplied by the church.
He has more love for people, I think, than almost anybody Ive ever been around in my life, reflected President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency. He not only loves us he sees the best in us. He sees good in people to a degree thats really quite remarkable.
Don’t Miss: Where Is Satan Mentioned In The Bible
New Lds First Presidency Announced
President Russell M. Nelson, 93, was named the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a church broadcast this morning from the annex of the Salt Lake Temple.
He named President Dallin H. Oaks, 85, as his first counselor and President Henry B. Eyring, 84, as his second counselor.
President Nelson was sustained and set apart in the Salt Lake Temple on Jan. 14, 2018. He has served under the last five church presidents and was president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from July 15, 2015, until his call as president of the church. President M. Russell Ballard, 89, now becomes the acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson made the announcement, which marks the first time in 32 years that a counselor in the First Presidency Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has returned to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Its also the first time in almost 67 years that a previous first counselor has been sustained as a second counselor in the First Presidency. The last time was on April 9, 1951, when President J. Reuben Clark was sustained as second counselor to President David O. McKay after serving as first counselor to President George Albert Smith.
President Oaks is also the first former BYU president to serve as a member of the First Presidency.
How could I choose only two out of 12 apostles, each of whom I love so dearly? President Nelson said of choosing his counselors.
President Russell M Nelson Now Oldest Of All Presidents Of Lds Church
The old saying, what a difference a day makes, rang true Thursday for President Russell M. Nelson as he became the oldest president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He broke the age barrier for service as Nelson is now 97 years, seven months and six days old surpassing President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died on Jan. 27, 2008, at the age of 97 years, seven months and five days, according to a church press release.
Nelson became the 17th president of the Church on Jan. 14, 2018, after serving 34 years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In addition to his service as an apostle, Nelson is known for his long and esteemed medical career.
President Nelson is only the second prophet the first being Joseph Fielding Smith to be called as President of the Church while over the age of 90, read the church statement.
If all goes well for President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency and president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Nelson, who appears to be in excellent health, Oaks would be the third president to be called in his 90s.
You May Like: How To Break Down The Bible
Succession To The Presidency
In the LDS Church, when a president of the church dies, the First Presidency is dissolved, and the members of the First Presidency who were formerly members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles rejoin it. The Quorum of the Twelve, which may number greater than twelve with the returning members from the First Presidency, then becomes the presiding council of the church, with the senior apostle as its president. The President of the Quorum of the Twelve becomes the highest-ranking official in the church and has always become the next church president. However, the appointment is not made official until the Quorum of the Twelve meets and selects the next president of the church.
Deference To The Prophet
As president and prophet, all members show deference to him. When he speaks on any matter, discussion is closed. Since he speaks for Heavenly Father, his word is final. While he lives, Mormons consider his the final word on any issue.
Theoretically, his successor can overturn any of his guidance or counsel. However, this does not occur, despite how often the secular press speculates this might happen.
Church presidents/prophets are always consistent with scripture and the past. Heavenly Father tells us we must follow the prophet and all will be right. Others may lead us astray, but he will not. In fact, he cannot.
Recommended Reading: Who Is Thomas Nelson Bible
Notable Differences Between Districts And Stakes
A district has a function analogous to a stake, but is organized where there are too few members to organize a stake. Its relationship to a stake is similar to the relationship between a ward and a branch. Once the membership in a district achieves sufficient numbers, it may be reorganized as a stake. Districts differ from stakes in the following ways:
- A district does not have its own patriarch. Members are assigned to the nearest stake patriarch.
- Districts do not have a high priestsquorum. The high priests quorum is a stake organization. Men residing in a district may not be ordained to the priesthood office of high priest.
- Districts are composed of branches only and cannot have wards, regardless of the size of the branches.
- The presiding authority in a district is the mission president members of the mission presidency conduct temple recommend, patriarchal blessing, Melchizedek priesthood ordination, and missionary qualification interviews, not members of the district presidency.
- The district presidency serves as a representative of the mission presidency since many missions have multiple districts and the mission presidency may live a great distance from the district itself.
- In many very small and remote districts, some male missionaries serve as branch presidents or in other leadership positions at the local and district levels. Such arrangements may also be made in branches of stakes, but it is more common in districts.
Secretary To The First Presidency
The church employs a secretary to assist the First Presidency in its administrative duties. The position is a paid employment position and the incumbent is not a member of the First Presidency or a general authority of the church. However, it is common for letters from the office of the First Presidency to private individuals to bear the signature of the secretary, as opposed to members of the First Presidency.
The First Presidency also employs assistant secretaries and press secretaries. When David O. McKay became President of the Church in 1951, he continued with his longtime personal secretary, Clare Middlemiss, and moved the existing secretary, Joseph Anderson, into the newly-created First Presidency’s office.D. Arthur Haycock also served as personal secretary to several church presidents in the 20th century.
You May Like: Do Not Be Afraid Bible
How The Modern Prophet Is Chosen
Modern prophets have come from a variety of secular backgrounds and experiences. There is no designated path to the presidency, secular or otherwise.
The process for designating a founding prophet for each dispensation is done miraculously. After these initial prophets die or are translated, a new prophet follows through an official line of succession.
For example, Joseph Smith was the first prophet of this last dispensation, often called the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.
Until the second coming of Jesus Christ and the Millennium arrive, the most senior apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will become the prophet when the living prophet dies. As the most senior apostle, Brigham Young followed Joseph Smith.
First Presidency Announces 2021 Area Leadership Assignments
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced changes in the Churchs area leadership assignments, which will become effective on August 1. The changes affect the Presidency of the Seventy and area presidencies.
All members of area presidencies are General Authority Seventies or Area Seventies.
There are currently 22 areas in the Church six that span the United States and Canada, with 16 more outside those two countries.
Beginning in 1984, the Church established areas to direct the work in geographic locations. The area presidencies for the United States and Canada will work from Church headquarters area presidencies outside of the United States and Canada operate from area offices in each assigned area. The Churchs Middle East/North Africa Area is administered from headquarters.
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles acts under the direction of the First Presidency to build up the Church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations.
The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve in building up the Church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations .
Recommended Reading: What The Bible Says About Putting Your Spouse First