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Former heart surgeon set to become next Mormon president

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Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 12:11 PM
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2017, file photo, Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looks on before the start of the two-day Mormon church conference, in Salt Lake City. President Thomas S. Monson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 16th president of the Mormon church, died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, after nine years in office. He was 90. The next president was not immediately named, but the job is expected to go to next longest-tenured member of the church's governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Nelson, per church protocol. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2017, file photo, Dallin H. Oaks, left, and Russell M. Nelson, members of a top governing body called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints conference of the two-day Mormon church conference, in Salt Lake City. President Thomas S. Monson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 16th president of the Mormon church, died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, after nine years in office. He was 90. The next president was not immediately named, but the job is expected to go to next longest-tenured member of the church's governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Nelson, per church protocol. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2017, file photo, Russell M. Nelson, right, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, right, greets members of the Quorum, before the start of the morning session of the two-day Mormon church conference, in Salt Lake City. President Thomas S. Monson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the 16th president of the Mormon church, died Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, after nine years in office. He was 90. The next president was not immediately named, but the job is expected to go to next longest-tenured member of the church's governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Nelson, per church protocol. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The man set to become the next Mormon church president is a 93-year-old former heart surgeon whose conservative track record on the religion's leadership panel has led Mormon scholars to predict he won't make any major changes.

Russell M. Nelson is likely to be formally named to the post in the coming days under longstanding church protocol designed to ensure a smooth handover by giving the post to the longest-tenured member of the governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Nelson has been on the panel for three decades and would become the second-oldest person to be named president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Thomas S. Monson died Tuesday night at his home in Salt Lake City after leading the church for nearly a decade. He was 90.

The new president will be formally appointed during a private meeting of the apostles.

 

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