Excitement building among the LDS faithful over possible announcement of three new apostles

Posted at 7:59 PM, Oct 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-02 21:59:16-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Who will be called as the newest members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? LDS Church members are hoping to learn who will fill the vacancies as the excitement builds surrounding this weekend’s General Conference.

The 185th Semi-Annual General Conference continues Saturday with three sessions, and then two more sessions on Sunday. There’s talk that the announcement will most likely be made in a Saturday session.

Twice a year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints look forward to hearing inspiring messages from their leadership at General Conference. This weekend, they’re anticipating a historic moment–the announcement of three new apostles.

“I'm really excited about conference. We're looking forward to seeing who the new apostles are, and we're always inspired by their talks,” said Josephine Blatt, a member of the LDS Church.

With the recent passing of Elders L. Tom Perry, Richard G. Scott and President Boyd K. Packer, there are three vacancies.

“The last time that three apostles were called was in April of 1906,” said Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, BYU Professor of Church History and Doctrine.

How are apostles chosen? Church leaders say President Thomas S. Monson receives inspiration from God, and consults with members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who submit names for his consideration.

“One of the interesting things about this is that he asks not to talk to one another, but simply who they think,” Holzapfel said.

Historically, most apostles have served as General Authorities, but there’s been exceptions.

“Members of the current Quorum of the Twelve for example, President Nelson was a heart surgeon and was called," Holzapfel said. "Elder Oaks was a member of the Utah State Supreme Court. Elder Bednar was the president of a university. None of them were General Authorities."

There really is no precedent as to when the LDS Church will call the new apostles. History shows some positions have been vacant for more than one session of conference.

Holzapfel says, ultimately, it’s President Monson’s prerogative.

“This is a unique moment in our church history whether or not all three will be called at this conference or not, it's still an exciting time to be alive if you're interested in church history," he said.

Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles serve in that capacity for life.

For more information about the upcoming sessions of General Conference, visit the LDS Church's website.