(KUTV) – Upon the passing of President Thomas S. Monson, it is anticipated that President of the Quorum of the Apostles, Dr. Russell M. Nelson, will become the 17th president of the worldwide church with 16 million members. He has served in LDS church leadership for more than five decades and will be the second- oldest apostle to assume the presidency in Mormon history at the age of 93.
Nelson succeeded the late President Boyd K. Packer, and has presided over The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles - the second-highest presiding body in the government of the Church – since July 15, 2015. He is a world-renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and father of 10 children – nine daughters and one son, lds.org states.
Nelson also served in the Korean War as a U.S. Army medic and was stationed in Korea, Japan and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., according to lds.org. He is fluent in Mandarin and has visited 31 countries in five years to start building the Church in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, and Estonia, the site also states.
Additional information about Nelson includes:
Sept. 9, 1924 – Russell Marion Nelson was born to Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson.
1945 – Nelson attended LDS Business College and graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor of arts degree.
1947 – Nelson earned his Medicinae Doctor (MD) degree with the highest honors following his military service from the University of Utah, and went on to get more surgical training at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital.
1954 – Nelson earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota.
1955 – Nelson accepted a faculty position at the University of Utah’s medical school.
1970 - Nelson received honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from Brigham Young University.
1971 – Nelson was called to serve as the LDS Church General Sunday School President.
1979 – Nelson was called as a Regional Church Representative.
1972 – Nelson administered an aortic valve replacement for then-LDS President Spencer W. Kimball.
April 7, 1984 – Nelson was sustained as a Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at age 59.
1989 – Nelson received a Doctor of Medical Science from Utah State University.
1994 – Nelson received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Snow College.
July 15, 2015 – Nelson was set apart as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by President Thomas S. Monson.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports Dallin H. Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice and an LDS apostle for nearly 34 years, is next in line for the presidency after Nelson. Oaks is 85.