Thomas S. Monson spent nearly a decade acting as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, before his sudden death on Jan. 2 at age 90. Today, Russell M. Nelson, former President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has been officially called to serve as his replacement.
Nelson, 93, is a former heart surgeon credited with performing Utah’s first successful cardiac surgery. He is also the oldest living apostle in the LDS church and only the second oldest apostle to be called to serve as church president. He is also old and white which works well with Mormon tradition.
During Monson’s 10-year reign of the church, he was forced to navigate murky political waters. Nelson’s tenure, however brief, will pick up where he left off and will likely focus on LGBTQ issues as Nelson has repeatedly faced criticism for his support of traditional marriage.
In Nelson’s case, traditional marriage must mean plural marriage, as he has been married twice in Mormon temples and, according to LDS doctrine, these women will remain his wives in the afterlife.