It’s been said that looking at pictures of the General Authorities in Mormonism is like looking at family reunion photos – not your family mind you, but of a family you probably don’t belong to. As time has waned on over the years, not much has changed in the Church’s selection of who’s next to fill the shoes of those in charge.
It’s a well known fact that if you’re not born in the family of the hierarchy, it’s a fat chance you’ll be called to serve the Mormon heavenly father in an upper echelon of servants. Be that as it may, we looked at the newest members in the coveted apostle position to see what, if anything, had changed…
Long story short – not much.
With the exception of the Czech born, Dieter Uchtdorf, it’s safe to say, every single person in the Mormon hierarchy is related to each other in one way or another. We found that every apostle is either related to a past member of Mormon hierarchy, or they’ve married into a family with a long line of past Mormon leaders.
The question of why is begging to be asked!
Why does this look like a typical ‘good ol’ boys club, and not a Christian organization, outfitted and eager to share Jesus’ gospel to the world?
I started looking into this subject matter after researching info on Franklin Richards for our latest installment of Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders. After discovering how many of Richards’ descendants found themselves in high leadership positions, I simply began wondering how many other leaders had similar stories.
The story of nepotism in Mormon leadership has always been a well known fact, but I had no idea of just how prevalent this was until I rolled up my sleeves, and started looking at the evidence.
D. Michael Quinn has done extensive research on this subject and published his findings in ‘The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power’, p.163-170. I strongly encourage everyone to grab a copy of his work because it’s definitely worth the read!
What I’ve done here is to look at the latest group, including the three new apostles, to get an up-to-date picture of who’s who and what they’re doing behind those large closed doors. As far as choosing who will fill the shoes for the next prophet, in 1973 LDS Prophet Spencer W Kimball said that ‘death and life become the determining factor’.
They offer no other explanation for how the process works other than stating they were chosen in the grand council in the pre-existence. See Ensign, January 1973 ‘We Thank Thee o God for a Prophet’.
Why is death and life the only determining factor? Good grief, everyone does that. The apostle Peter gave specific details on the qualifications required for apostleship in Acts 1:12-26. Not one of the Mormon apostles have ever qualified for this position.
We’ve listed info on each person serving in the Mormon hierarchy below. You can also get basic info on the 12 Mormon apostles and their prophet by clicking on the link ‘Meet Today’s Prophets and Apostles’.
Thomas S Monson – Prophet
Father of Ann Dibb, 2nd Counselor of Young Women’s General Presidency
Henry B Eyring – Apostle
Nephew of 12th LDS Prophet Spencer W Kimball
Elder Eyring’s father (Henry Eyring) and President Kimball’s wife (Camilla Eyring) were brother and sister.
Son of Henry Eyring, General board of the Deseret Sunday School Union
Father of Henry Johnson Eyring, Missions President 2003
1st, 2nd or 3rd cousin to eight General Authorities or their wives
Wife: Kathleen Johnson Eyring is related to three General Authorities
Russell M Nelson – Apostle
Cousin of Rulon G Craven
Father-in-law of David Reed Webster Sr., Missions President 2004
Father-in-law of Michael Tally Ringwood, Missions President 2004
Operated on 3 of the LDS prophets. LDSFacts.net
Dallin H Oaks – Apostle
Brother of Merrill C Oaks, 2nd Quorum of the 70
M Russell Ballard – Apostle
Nephew of Joseph Smith
Father-in-law of Peter Huntsman Area Authority 70
Robert D Hales – Apostle
For a time as he was growing up, Robert lived in the same stake as Henry B. Eyring
Cousin of Carlos E Asay
Cousin of Glenn L Pace
Cousin of Earl C Tingey
Cousin to six General Authorities
Wife Mary Elene Crandall Hales is related to three General Authorities
Jeffrey R Holland – Apostle
Great-great grandson of William Snow
Wife Patricia Terry Holland is related to one General Authority
David A Bednar – Apostle
Great grandson of Henry Frehner, an original Mormon pioneer
Quentin L Cook – Apostle
Great grandson of David Patten Kimball – LDSFacts.net
D Todd Christofferson – Apostle
D Todd Christofferson served in the Argentina North Mission. His mission president was Richard G. Scott (d), former of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. – LDS.net
Neil L Andersen – Apostle
Dieter F. Uchtdorf – Apostle
“He was born on November 6, 1940 to Karl Albert and Hilde Else Opelt Uchtdorf in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. He married Harriet Reich on December 14, 1962 in the Swiss Temple. Elder and Sister Uchtdorf have two children, Antje Evans and Guido, and they have five grandchildren.” – LDSFacts.net
Ronald A Rasband – Apostle
Rasband was also a member of Huntsman Chemical board of directors.
Gary E Stevenson – Apostle
Son of Evan N. Stevenson – Utah State University’s Vice President for Administrative Affairs
Dale G Renlund – Apostle
Son-in-law of Merlin R. Lybbert, 13th general president of the LDS Sunday school.
Daughter of UT Governor Norm Bangerter, Pres. of 70 – he was married to Colleen Monson William Bangerter, Norm’s brother, served as the Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was the last person holding the position, as it was abolished afterwards.
Niece-in-law of Bruce McConkie – Bruce McConkie was the brother of Oscar W McConkie, Jr., Carol McConkie’s father-in-law