With the passing of Robert D. Hales and President Thomas S. Monson, there will be two vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as the current President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Russell M. Nelson, was sustained as the prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The late Boyd K. Packer related how shortly after the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley, 14 apostles met in the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple to reorganize the First Presidency. “There was no question about what would be done. No hesitancy. We knew that the senior apostle was the president of the Church,” he declared.
The senior apostle becomes the next prophet, that is the pattern the Lord has set. Hence President Nelson became the 17th prophet.
Following the reorganization of the First Presidency, the apostle who has served the second longest is sustained as the president of the Quorum of the Twelve. When the second-longest-serving apostle has also been called into the First Presidency as a counselor, the third-longest-serving apostle becomes acting president of the Twelve. ¹ We saw this occur as Dallin H. Oaks was called into the First Presidency and M. Russell Ballard became the acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The two new apostles will be called during one of the April 2018 sessions of General Conference, and the saints are wondering who they might be. LDS blogger, James Stokes, shares his thoughts on his site with a long list of possible candidates for the vacant position on the Quorum of the 12. Obviously this is speculation, and while some may disagree with the practice, it is interesting to at least be aware of some of the possibilities. We understand there is a chance that none on this list below will be called, and we are also aware that this is a holy call made by the Lord. Some of the General Authorities that Stokes mentions are as follows:
Elder Gerrit W. Gong: 63.8 years old; called as a GA Seventy in October 2010 and to the Presidency of the Seventy in October 2015 (is currently fifth in seniority in the Quorum.)
Elder Craig C. Christensen: 61.5 years old; called as a GA Seventy in October 2002; is currently the second most senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy. born in Salt Lake City; served a mission in Santiago Chile; mission president in Mexico City; served for four years as president of the Mexico South Area.
Elder Marcus B. Nash: 60.5 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2006. born in Seattle Washington; served a mission in San Salvador El Salvador; helped construct the Seattle Washington Temple; served as a counselor in and then president of the South America Northwest Area.
Elder Paul B. Pieper: 60 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2005. served a mission in Mexico; moved to Kazakhstan, speaks Russian; mission president in St. Petersburg Russia; has served in the Europe East Area Presidency; coordinated Church efforts in the Middle East/Africa North Area; currently serves as a counselor in the Mexico Area Presidency.
Elder Michael John U. Teh: 52.3 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2007; born in the Philippines.
Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse: 54.3 years old; called as a GA Seventy in April 2008, to the Presiding Bishopric in April 2012, and as Presiding Bishop in October 2015.
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy: turned 59 on October 2; called as a GA Seventy in April 2005 and to the Presidency of the Seventy in January 2013 (is currently third in seniority in that Presidency.
Again, it is well understood that this is just educating guessing, but it is interesting to think about who will fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Whoever is chosen by God to fulfill this sacred office will have our full love and support.
Some thoughts I have had are in respect to the growth of the church in the Philippines, Africa, Brazil, and possible preparation for continued missionary service in China. In that vain, it would be incredible to see a call extended to a native-born member from one of those areas.
To see more thoughts on potential candidates for the vacancy in the twelve, you can visit the blog Stokes Sounds Off.