In Saturday afternoon’s conference session, we will see two new apostles called into the Quorum of the Twelve. These two men will have significant impact on the Church in the future.

Let’s take a look at the recent patterns and some of the most likely candidates and make some predictions.

Here is some information, looking at the 15 men that made up the Quorum of Twelve and First Presidency before the deaths of Pres. Monson and Elder Hales.

Age range at time of being called as apostle:

High: 67.1 (Elder Cook)
Low: 36.1 (Pres Monson)
Average: 58.2
Median: 60.2


The highest previous calling:

Presidency of 70: 5
Church University President: 4
Presiding Bishop: 3
70, President of Area: 1
Other: 2


Isolating on the 8 most recently called apostles, all since 2000:

High: 67.1 (Elder Cook)
Low: 52.3 (Elder Bednar)
Average: 61.5
Median: 63.0


The highest previous calling:

Presidency of 70: 5
Church University President: 1
Presiding Bishop: 1
70, President of Area: 1
Other: 0


The trend recently is a little bit of age increase and more focus on presidency of 70. With this in mind, let’s look at the most likely candidates. Strong preference should be given to Presidency of 70 with age range 60-65.


Main Pool

Craig C. Christensen, 62.1, Presidency of 70 six years, GA 10 years, played football at BYU, MBA, Chile mission. Maybe he can get BYU in the Big 12. 35% probability.

L. Whitney Clayton, 68.2, not to be confused with Michael Clayton who also was known as the ‘fixer’, Presidency of 70 ten years, GA 17 years, lawyer. I would say he’s too old and there’s little chance, but the ProgMo online community seems to think he’s a shoe-in. 20% probability.

Ulisses Soares, 59.5, Presidency of 70 five years, GA 13 years, from Brazil, MBA, worked for Church prior to GA. 18% probability.

Gerrit W. Gong, 64.3, hecka smart, Rhodes Scholar, Oxford doctorate, former advisor to the Q12, Presidency of 70 two years, GA seven years, raised in California, Chinese ancestry. I loved watching how he handled himself in those leaked videos where he would tutor the brethren on current events. He is by far my favorite in this list. 16% probability.

Walter F. González (28519018416) (cropped).jpg

Walter Gonzalez, 65.4, from Uruaguay, GA 17 years, current Area President but was Pres. of 70 for six years prior, multiple advanced degrees, worked for Church for many years. 15% probability.

Juan A. Uceda, 64.8, Presidency of 70 less than one year, GA seven years, from Peru, a little on the inexperienced side but is on this list as an ideal first Latin American selection. 12% probability.

Lynn G. Robbins, 65.5, Presidency of 70 four years, GA 21 years, from Springville Utah–Red Devil Pride, MBA, co-founder Franklin Quest. 12% probability.

Gerald Causse, 54.9, Presiding Bishop for 2.5 years, GA for ten years, from France, a little young and on the inexperienced side but very popular and last European pick was a homerun. My second favorite on the list. 12% probability

Carlos Godoy, 57.2, GA experience doesn’t quite fit top tier profile, but he’s been a GA for 10 years including president of an Area for three years, from Brazil, master’s degree from BYU. 10% probability


Secondary Pool

Patrick Kearon, 56.8, Presidency of 70 less than one year, GA seven years, gave the well known conference talk on refugees, from England, no college degree. 8% probability.
Jose Teixeira, 57.1, Area President, from Portugal, honorary Latino for serving in Area Presidency in South America. 6% probability.
Marcos Aidukaitis, 58.6, Area President, from Brazil, BYU MBA, GA seven years. 5% probability.
Adrian Ochoa, 64.1, from Mexico, GA five years, Area President. 5% probability.
Robert Gay, 66.5, Harvard PhD, GA five years, Area President, unfortunate last name. 5% probability.
Paul Pieper, 60.5, lawyer, Area President, GA 10 years, extensive Russia experience. 4% probability.
Paul Johnson, 63.8, Church CES Director for seven years, GA ten years. 2% probability.
Randy Funk, 65.7, Area President, GA for four years, mission president in India, lawyer. 2% probability.
Shayne Bowen, 63.6, business guy, good looking, GA ten years. 2% probability.
Kevin Worthen, 62.0, BYU President but only for four years and no prior GA experience. 2% probability.


Wild Cards

Kim Clark, 69.1, former BYU-I president
Tad Callister, 72.3, strong talk in conference on Book of Mormon
Orrin Hatch
Edward Dube, 55, possibly first black apostle, GA four years, from Zimbabwe
Steven Snow, 68, GA 17 years, Church Historian and high profile spokesman


I did an analysis before the First Presidency selections of Pres. Oaks and Pres. Eyring and said that with almost virtual certainty, Pres. Eyring and Uchtforf would be retained. There was huge precedent and protocol that counselors were not removed with a new presidency. I kind of mocked some of the critics who said things like ‘I bet they demote Uchtdorf and put in a hard core like Oaks.’ I was totally wrong.

We can make good guesses based on patterns. But Pres. Nelson appears to be bucking tradition. In addition to the counselor change, there are rumors that there will be major changes this conference. In terms of whether this presidency will be progressive or not, that’s hard to tell as well. The presidency change suggests conservative but the recent response to the MTC sexual abuse scandal was on the progressive side.

Only two of the last 15 called came from outside the traditional callings. One of them was Russell M. Nelson. So maybe all this conventional wisdom can be thrown out.

Buckle in, it could be a wild ride.



I’ll go with Christensen and Soares. I think this will be a historic time for the first non-white and first Latin American. There are several good choices there. Then I think they will go with a traditional type pick like Christensen or Clayton.


  1. Isn’t there some chance they will go with someone younger this time since they all are getting so old? I think there are a few in the 1st Quorum who are in their early 50s.

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