The man set to become the next Mormon church president is a 93-year-old former heart surgeon whose conservative track record on the religion's leadership panel has led Mormon scholars to predict he won't make any major changes.
Russell M. Nelson is likely to be formally named to the post in the coming days under longstanding church protocol designed to ensure a smooth handover by giving the post to the longest-tenured member of the governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Nelson has been on the panel for three decades and would become the second-oldest person to be named president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
President Thomas S. Monson died Tuesday night at his home in Salt Lake City after leading the church for nearly a decade. He was 90.
The new president will be formally appointed during a private meeting of the apostles.