SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — With the recent passing of President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many are left wondering: “What’s next?”
An “apostle,” defined by the church, is an ordained leader chosen by inspiration by the president of the church. After the president has selected an individual, they are sustained by general church membership and ordained by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.
The church teaches that Jesus Christ gave the title “apostle” to the twelve people he chose to be His closest followers and supporters, to serve as witnesses of Christ.
President M. Russell Ballard served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for 38 years, five of which were spent as the acting president under Dallin H. Oaks, the senior-most member of the Quorum.
The acting president, according to the church, is tasked with presiding over the weekly gatherings of the Quorum of the Twelve and other services the president and the Quorum cannot attend.
Out of the Quorum of the Twelve, the senior-most member outside of the First Presidency is generally called as the acting president. According to the church, the next senior apostle is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
Now that Ballard has died, the Quorum is left with only 11 members — meaning the church will be calling someone new to the Quorum, and having someone new step into the role of acting president.
The church has yet to formally announce who will replace Ballard as the acting president, or who they will be calling to the Quorum of the Twelve.