Who Will Be the Next LDS Prophet? (After President Nelson)

Prophet and President Russell M Nelson giving a speech at a pulpit

As of now, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by President Russell M. Nelson. At 99 years old (born September 9, 1924), Russell M. Nelson is the oldest LDS prophet to live and the oldest person to serve as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Russell M. Nelson’s Health Reports recently reported that President Russell M. Nelson recently faced a significant health challenge following a fall that injured his back muscles. In a heartfelt social media update, he expressed gratitude for the prayers and support received during his rigorous recovery. Despite the setback, President Nelson appears to be in good health. 

The Most Likely Successor: Dallin H. Oaks
Most senior LDS apostle, Dallin H Oaks

If President Nelson were to pass away in the near future, the most likely successor to his role as prophet and president of the church would be Dallin H. Oaks. His position as the next in seniority among the church’s leadership makes him a primary candidate for this significant role. In the LDS Church, seniority is a crucial factor in determining succession, and Oaks, with his extensive service and dedication, stands at the forefront of this line.

The Process of Selection

In the LDS Church, typically,  the most senior apostle is chosen to be the next prophet following the death of the current prophet. However, this succession is not just a matter of seniority. The selection of the prophet is a spiritual process, guided by the Holy Ghost. It involves the remaining members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in making this significant decision.

The Role of Tradition and the Holy Ghost

It’s important to note that seniority does not guarantee that the next most senior apostle will take on the role of prophet. The belief within the church is that the Holy Ghost plays a pivotal role in this decision, ensuring that the chosen leader is not only aligned with the church’s needs but also with a higher divine will.

That said, the most senior apostle has always been selected as the next prophet. This consistent pattern lends a fair amount of certainty to the prediction that Dallin H. Oaks would likely be the next prophet, barring any unforeseen circumstances.