Changes to the First Presidency over the years

416

Editor’s note: this story pairs with “New LDS First Presidency announced today”

With the announcement on Jan. 16 of the new LDS First Presidency, Latter-day Saints saw a very quiet transition of power and a new mixture of personalities in the church’s top leadership posts.

President Dallin H. Oaks is now the presiding member of the Quorum of the Twelve and is next in line to become president of the church. However, while President Oaks serves as first counselor to President Russell M. Nelson, President M. Russell Ballard will serve as acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Seven former presidents of the LDS Church served as counselors in the First Presidency prior to becoming president themselves.

  1. President Lorenzo Snow served as counselor to President Brigham Young before becoming the 5th president of the church.
  2. President Joseph F. Smith served as counselor to President Brigham Young and second counselor to Presidents John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow before becoming the 6th president of the church.
  3. President David O. McKay served as second counselor to Presidents Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith before becoming 9th president of the church.
  4. President Joseph Fielding Smith served as counselor to President David O. McKay before becoming 10th president of the church.
  5. President Harold B. Lee served as first counselor to President Joseph Fielding Smith before becoming 11th president of the church.
  6. President Gordon B. Hinckley served as second counselor to President Spencer W. Kimball, and first counselor to Presidents Ezra Taft Benson and Howard W. Hunter before becoming 15th president of the church.
  7. President Thomas S. Monson served as second counselor to Presidents Ezra Taft Benson and Howard W. Hunter, and first counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley before becoming 16th president of the church.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s return to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is unique. A counselor in the First Presidency hasn’t resumed his position in that quorum since the presidencies of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

After the death of First Counselor George Q. Cannon Oct. 6, 1901, President Lorenzo Snow called Elder Joseph F. Smith as first counselor and Elder Rudger Clawson as second counselor. However, President Snow died four days later, so these counselors were sustained but not set apart.

Elder Clawson returned to his position in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and served as the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1921 until his death in 1943.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email