FAITH

President Nelson is now the oldest president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Apr 14, 2022, 6:09 PM | Updated: 8:39 pm
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Photo credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

SALT LAKE CITY — On Thursday, President Russell M. Nelson became the oldest president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

At 97 years, seven months and six days, President Nelson surpasses President Gordon B. Hinckley, who passed away in January 2008 at the age of 97 years, seven months and five days. 

At 97 years, seven months and six days, President Russell M. Nelson became the oldest church president on Thursday. Photo credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He became president in 2018

President Nelson was set apart as the church’s 17th president on Jan. 14, 2018. He replaced President Thomas S. Monson as leader of the church. President Monson passed away on Jan. 2, 2018.

Prior to his current role, he had served 34 years as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was sustained and ordained as an apostle in April 1984. 

According to a church press release, he is the second person to be called as President of the Church, while over the age of 90. Joseph Fielding Smith, who served as president from 1970 to 1972, was the other one.

President Nelson had a successful medical career

In addition to his service in the church, President Nelson had a long and successful medical career. He graduated first in his class from medical school at the age of 22. He earned doctoral degrees from the University of Utah and University of Minnesota.

As a cardiothoracic surgeon, he assisted in the development of the artificial heart-lung machine, which helps a patient’s circulation during open-heart surgery.

Family life

President Nelson married Dantzel White in 1945. However, she passed away in 2005 just prior to their 60th wedding anniversary. Together, they are the parents of 10 children. In 2006, He married Wendy L. Watson, who has been by his side ever since.

“One of the things that I admire about President Nelson is the way he unifies people of different points of view and different levels of experience and maturity,” said President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency. “He just brings differing points of view and different individuals into harmony and does so in a gentle and loving and effective manner.”

Bonneville International Corporation, the company that owns KSL NewsRadio, is a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

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President Nelson is now the oldest president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints