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Question

 

Gramps,

I am puzzled that President Nelson is going to announce the next Prophet.  Is that a standard common practice or is he going to announce someone else on Tuesday?  My Bishop announced last Sunday that it was President Nelson our next Prophet..  You are very knowledgeable and I thank you and love your input.

Muriel

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Answer

 

Dear Muriel,

When the prophet dies, the First Presidency is dissolved and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles becomes the governing body over the Church. Therefore, as senior apostle, President Nelson is the appropriate one to address the church.  Remember, he did not chose this, the Lord chose him.  The Lord is the one who called him, and set the precedents we have in place.  We haven’t been told what will be spoken of on Tuesday, though it does seem reasonable that it will be officially announced that a new Prophet has been chosen and Pres. Nelson is now the prophet.

As you likely know, when Joseph Smith died, there was some confusion about who would replace him.  Sidney Rigdon made a speech before a body of saints arguing that he should be the guardian of the church as he felt no one could replace Joseph as prophet.  While he was speaking, Brigham Young approached the group from behind (he had been away and had just returned.)  The people gathered heard his voice before they saw him, and thought for a moment that it was somehow Joseph Smith.  They understood then that they were not to be led by Sidney. The Quorum of the Twelve led the church for the next three years.  Since that time, the Lord has always organized his church this way, the president of the twelve apostles becomes the next president of the church when the prophet dies.  This is part of the “unwritten order of things” in the Church.

The precedents of past history is how your bishop can be confident that Pres. Nelson will probably be the next Prophet, and also why it is appropriate for Pres. Nelson (as head of the governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) to be the one to address us until then.

I’m looking forward to it.

Gramps

 

 

 

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