L-R: Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the LDS Church’s First Presidency, Church President Russell M. Nelson, and second counselor Henry B. Eyring, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2018 | Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc., St. George News
CEDAR CITY — In his first address as the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson said he and his two newly chosen counselors would continue to advance the work of the Lord.
“We must look forward to the future with complete faith in Jesus Christ, whose church this is,” Nelson said during his brief remarks.
Joining Nelson, 93, in the church’s newly reorganized First Presidency are Elder Dallin H. Oaks, 85, who will serve as first counselor, and Elder Henry B. Eyring, 84, who will serve as second counselor.
Apostle D. Todd Christofferson formally announced the reorganization of the church’s First Presidency during a live 20-minute broadcast Tuesday morning, originating from an annex building adjacent to the Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City.
The announcement was made four days after the funeral of President Thomas S. Monson, who died Jan. 2, at age 90.
Christofferson said the changes took place Sunday morning. After the Quorum of the Twelve prayerfully decided to reorganize the First Presidency, Nelson and his counselors were set apart in the Salt Lake Temple that morning by the other members of the quorum, Christofferson said.
Nelson was a renowned cardiac surgeon when he was first called and ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve in 1984. Although Oaks was called the same day as Nelson (April 7, 1984), his ordination was delayed a few weeks as he fulfilled his obligations as a Utah State Supreme Court Justice.
Nelson, the longest-serving living apostle, had been President of the Quorum of the Twelve since July 15, 2015.
Nelson gave special thanks to both Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who had been serving as Monson’s counselors in the First Presidency until Monson’s death. Uchtdorf will continue to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve, which currently has 10 members.
Since Oaks is now serving in the First Presidency, M. Russell Ballard, 89, the apostle with the third-longest term of service, will serve as acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, Christofferson noted.
LDS members regard all members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as “prophets, seers and revelators,” authorized to hold and administer priesthood keys and carry out the administrative affairs of the church.
The LDS Church, also commonly known as the Mormon Church, was first organized in New York in 1830 by Joseph Smith Jr. According to the church’s website, the church now has nearly 16 million members in more than 30,000 congregations worldwide. Some 70,000 missionaries are serving in 422 missions around the world, with the Book of Mormon and other church materials being published in 188 languages.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.