He broke the age barrier for service as Nelson is now 97 years, seven months and six days old – surpassing President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died on January 27, 2008, at the age of 97 years, seven months and five days, according to a church press release.
Nelson became the 17th President of the Church on January 14, 2018, after serving 34 years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In addition to his service as an apostle, Nelson is known for his long and esteemed medical career.
“President Nelson is only the second prophet — the first being Joseph Fielding Smith — to be called President of the Church when he was over 90 years old,” the church statement read.
If all goes well for President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency and President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Nelson, who appears to be in excellent health, Oaks would be the third President to be called in his 90s. .
Nelson’s story and greetings
Sustained and ordained an Apostle in April 1984, Nelson visited 133 nations—ordaining 31 of them—during his tenure as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He served as president of this quorum from July 2015 until he became president of the Church, and he served as chairman of each of the three governing boards of the Church – the Missionary Executive Council, the Temple Executive Council and Family History and the Priesthood and Family Executive Council.
Nelson was born on September 9, 1924 in Salt Lake City, the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. He married Dantzel White in 1945 and the two are parents to 10 children. She died in 2005, just before their 60th wedding anniversary. In 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson, who has since accompanied him in his ministries as an apostle and then as church president.
He graduated first in his class from medical school at age 22, earning doctorates from the University of Utah and the University of Minnesota. A cardiothoracic surgeon, he pioneered the development of the artificial heart-lung machine, a way to support a patient’s circulation during open-heart surgery, according to biographical information provided by the church.
“If I have learned anything certain in (my life), it is that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God. His Church has been restored in these last days to prepare the world for His Second Coming,” Nelson said. “He is the light and the life of the world. Only through him can we achieve our divine destiny and eventual exaltation.
During the celebration of Nelson’s 95th birthday, President Oaks said, “One of the things I admire about President Nelson is how he unifies people from different perspectives and levels. of experience and maturity. He simply brings different viewpoints and different individuals into harmony and does so in a gentle, loving and effective way.
“He has more love for people, I think, than almost anyone I’ve known in my life,” said President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency. “He doesn’t just love us; he sees the best in us. …He sees the good in people to a truly remarkable degree.
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of the President’s love for people.
“He loves people. He loves little people, and he loves old people, and that allows him to be a prophet to everyone,” President Ballard said.
Reverend Amos Brown, a Baptist pastor and leader of the NAACP, developed a deep friendship with Nelson and shared his feelings about that relationship.
“As I close my arms with President Nelson, not as black and white, not as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Baptist, but as loving children of God everyone we have the opportunity to serve,” Brown mentioned.
Nelson’s daughter, Rosalie Ringwood, commented on his work and dedication outside of the church as a father.
“The word ‘father’, for my father…is his highest calling. He has often said “there are 12 apostles, but you only have one dad”, and he takes this responsibility very seriously. He never made us feel like he was too busy to be our dad,” Ringwood said.
age of church leadership
The average age of church leaders is 77.5. The ages of the First Presidency and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are as follows:
The First Presidency
President Dallin H. Oaks, 89
President Henry B. Eyring, 88
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Acting President Mr. Russell Ballard, 93
Jeffrey R. Holland, 81
Quentin L. Cook, 81
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 81
D. Todd Christofferson, 77
Ronald A. Rasband, 71
Neil L. Anderson, 70
Dale G. Renlund, 69
David A. Bednar, 68
Gerrit W. Gong, 68
Gary E. Stevenson, 66
Ulisses Soares, 63 years old