LDS Church Appoints 93-Year-Old Ex-Surgeon As President

Jan 16, 2018

A 93-year-old former heart surgeon with three decades of experience with the Mormon church's top leadership panel has been officially named the faith's president.

High-ranking Mormon D. Todd Christofferson announced the selection of Russell M. Nelson as president Tuesday in an address from Salt Lake City that broadcast to Mormons around the world.

Dallin H. Oaks will be in the First Presidency as the first counselor and Henry B. Eyring as the second counselor. M. Russell Ballard will be president of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. 

Nelson's selection follows a longstanding succession plan that makes the longest-tenured member of the faith's Quorum the next church's president.

Nelson becomes the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Utah-based faith counts nearly 16 million members worldwide.

He succeeds Thomas S. Monson, who died Jan. 2.

The faith's presidents are considered prophets who lead the church through revelations from God in collaboration with two top counselors and members of the Quorum.