Elder Russell M. Nelson, who has served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1984, was set apart as president of that quorum on July 15 by President Thomas S. Monson. President Nelson, 90, succeeds President Boyd K. Packer, who died July 3, 2015. It is the Church's practice that the senior member by date of assignment to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles becomes quorum president.
Russell M. Nelson was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 7, 1984, and ordained an apostle five days later. Previously, he served as Sunday School general president, Regional Representative and stake president. Before being called to full-time service in the Church at age 59, he was a world-renowned heart surgeon and medical researcher.
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest presiding body in the government of the Church. Its members serve under the direction of the First Presidency, a governing unit that consists of the President of the Church and his counselors. Currently, members of the First Presidency are President Monson; President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor; and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor.
In addition to their primary responsibility to be special witnesses of Christ throughout the world, the apostles have heavy administrative responsibilities as they oversee the orderly progress and development of the global Church.