How the LDS Church fills a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now grieving the loss of one of its beloved apostles. Over the weekend Elder L. Tom Perry passed away. His death leaves a vacancy in the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve. Good 4 Utah’s Brian Carlson explains how a new apostle will be chosen.

Right now the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is mourning the passing of Elder L. Tom Perry.

“I really treasure my association with him because he taught me to be positive and happy all the time,” said Lee Perry, L. Tom Perry’s son.

But soon the LDS Church will start working to fill Perry’s vacancy he leaves in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Back in 1974 Elder Perry filled a vacancy left in LDS leadership after church president Harold B. Lee died in 1973.

When Brian Carlson asked how a new apostle is chosen, the LDS Church referred him to its website which said quote:

“A replacement in the Quorum of the Twelve is called by the President of the Church, who receives inspiration in extending the call. The new member of the Twelve may be called from one of the Quorums of the Seventy (which are made up of General Authorities who are senior leaders in the Church) or from general Church membership around the world.”

According to an online report from the Salt Lake Tribune:

“Historians have noted that current apostles usually are asked to write three names on a slip of paper. With or without open discussion, a secret ballot is held, and the results are tallied and then forwarded to the church president. The president sometimes has accepted those recommendations and sometimes not.”

Back in 1986, the late apostle Elder David B. Haight spoke of how God is involved in the process. At the time he was speaking specifically about the newly called church president Ezra Taft Benson.

“The pattern divine allows for no errors, no conflicts, no ambitions, no ulterior motives. The Lord has reserved for himself the calling of his leaders over his church,” said Elder David B. Haight quoting a January 1973 Ensign entry.

So far it’s unclear who President Thomas S. Monson will consider to be the new member of the Twelve. Elder Perry’s funeral is scheduled for Friday, June 5 at 11:00 a.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
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