How Is a New Apostle Called?

When a vacancy opens in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the process of choosing a new apostle is guided by heavenly inspiration.

Sustaining prophets and apostles is more than just raising your hand

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized in the same way that Jesus Christ organized his Church 2,000 years ago. This structure includes 12 apostles, who preach Christ’s doctrine and guide the Church members (see Article of Faith 6). In “Calling an Apostle of the Lord,” several of the current apostles explain how new apostles are called.

You may have wondered about the answers to the following questions:

  1. Do the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve vote on who the new apostle should be?

No. The current apostles may submit names individually to the prophet, who is the President of the Church. He then makes the ultimate decision through revelation.

  1. How does the prophet come to a decision?

The prophet seeks revelation. President Thomas S. Monson said, “I assure you that the Church is in good hands. . . . Come what may, there is no need to worry or to fear. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we follow, whom we worship, and whom we serve, is ever at the helm.”

  1. Who can be called as an apostle?

Any worthy priesthood holder may be called. Historically, most have been called from among the General Authorities, but this is not always the case.

  1. Will all vacancies be filled at general conference?

Not necessarily. Vacancies may remain open for longer than six months. Ultimately, the prophet will decide what happens. Former President of the Church Heber J. Grant once left a vacancy open, telling the Twelve that the man to be called “wasn’t ready yet.”

As in many other matters of the Church, we can trust that the prophet will be a representative for Jesus Christ (Amos 3:7.)

For more information about what a call to the holy apostleship entails, read the full article, “Calling an Apostle of the Lord.”

—Nicole Day Olson, Mormon Insights

Find more insights

In this video, Gordon B. Hinckley, former President of the Church, explains how apostles are chosen by revelation.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson comments on his relationship with his mission president and fellow apostle Elder Scott, who recently passed away.

President Russell M. Nelson comments on the role of a modern-day apostle.

President Russell M. Nelson explains in a conference talk what it means to sustain the prophets and apostles.

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  1. Jennifer Johnson

    This is the kind of thing that I’m sure I have learned many times but never remember completely. This simple overview helped me understand again how apostles are called.

  2. annalisa Olivieri

    i have been a member of the church for a long time but i never really knew the answers to these questions. it’s one more testament that this church is really guided by god and that the prophet and apostles are really doing his work.

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