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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Elder Richard G. Scott Passes Away/Updated General Conference Predictions

Sad  news today. Elder Richard Gordon Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles passed away from causes incident to age. He had been ailing in health for quite a while, missing the opportunity to speak in the April 2015 General Conference. Known around the world for his gentle manner and unique ability to give talks from memory, Elder Scott was preceded in death by two of his children and his beloved companion Jeanene Watkins.

Elder Scott's passing today means that three apostles have passed away since the last General Conference. It also means three new apostles will need to be called prior to the next General Conference. It has been about 110 years since the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had three vacancies, so, as you can see, it's a very rare occurrence. I believe this will provide the Church with the opportunity to get some younger men called. Who they will be remains to be seen. I have had a very good feeling about who two of them might be, but will not be identifying those I think will be called until I am proven right or wrong. And now there's another apostolic vacancy to fill.

This apostolic vacancy also necessitated a change in my general conference predictions. I have made those changes now. Here they are. As you can see, there are only minor adjustments, and, as I usually do, I have narrowed my prediction down to one name for each speaking slot. That will also be reflected in the changes below. Enjoy!

NOTE: I learned from looking at the last time we had new apostles that the regular General Conference speaking order might be altered. Accordingly, I have made this prediction in this particular way. The tables below list the possible changes in general Church leadership and the speaking order. There are some changes in general Church leadership that are definite because they have already been announced. The other changes are conditional based on who is released and sustained. The order may be altered in view of whoever might be called to be the new apostles and when they might be called upon to speak. On the subject of who might be called, I have had a good feeling about two particular names. I am not confident enough in my feelings about who the new apostles might be to add their specific names to my prediction, and Elder Scott’s death came so suddenly. I really haven’t had a chance to give any thought as to the identity of the first new apostle. I could be totally wrong in my feelings about who might be called, so, I will not be making my predictions for the new apostles known. Hope that makes sense. Here are my predictions for what changes might be made to general Church leadership, followed by my predictions for who might speak and when and in what order.

October 2015 Predictions for changes in General Church Leadership
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Russell Marion Nelson sustained as Quorum President; Three new apostles sustained. (I think I know who two of them might be, but I’m not going to say just in case I’m wrong.)
NOTE: We know from previous announcements that Russell Marion Nelson should be sustained as Quorum President since he was set apart in that position on July 15. Three new apostles will be sustained to succeed Elder L. Tom Perry, President Boyd K. Packer and Elder Richard G. Scott.
RESULT: Russell Marion Nelson was so sustained. Three new apostles were called, namely:  , , and .
Presidency of the Seventy: New member(s) sustained (if new apostle(s) come from the Presidency of the Seventy.
NOTE: We may see one of the new apostles come from the Presidency of the Seventy, though who it might be is beyond me.
RESULT:
First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Don R. Clarke released and granted emeritus status; other member(s) possibly released if called to the Twelve.
NOTE: I believe Elder Don R. Clarke will be released and granted emeritus status because he will turn 70 at the end of the year, and it seems to be a common practice to release and grant emeritus status in October to First Quorum brethren that are or will be 70 by the end of any given year. I also believe that the third new apostle will come from the First Quorum, and will thus need to be released as well, but, as stated above, I won’t be revealing who I think that will be.
RESULT:
Second Quorum of the Seventy: Elders Koichi Aoyagi and Kent F. Richards and others possibly released if called to the Twelve.
NOTE: I believe that at least Elder Koichi Aoyagi will be released. Not so sure about Elder Kent F. Richards. He’s at an age and service length where a release could be expected, but as of September 13, he is still the Temple Department Executive Director, and any changes to Executive Directors of Departments are usually made by or before August 1. So either only Elder Aoyagi will be released (as he is unassigned and over 70) or both Elders Aoyagi and Richards will be released, and someone else will take on the role of Temple Department Executive Director. I do not believe we will see any other changes here.
RESULT:
Presiding Bishopric: Change(s) made if new apostle(s) come from the Presiding Bishopric.
NOTE: I believe the second new apostle will come from the Presiding Bishopric, but again, as stated above, I won’t be revealing who I think that will be. If any members of the Presiding Bishopric do become apostles, that would necessitate changes.
RESULT:
Area Seventies: Releases and sustainings, especially if new apostle(s) come from currently serving Area Seventies.
NOTE: I believe we will only have a few changes here, as it seems to be typically the pattern for major changes to be made in April when President Dieter F. Uchtdorf presents the Sustaining of Church Officers and for only a very few to be made in October when President Henry B. Eyring presents the Sustaining of Church Officers. I’m not infallible, however, so I will just say that I believe there will be few, if any, changes here.
RESULT:
Sunday School General Presidency: John Sears Tanner released as First Counselor; Devin G. Durrant released as Second Counselor and sustained as First Counselor; Brian K. Ashton sustained as Second Counselor. Possible additional changes if new apostle(s) come from Sunday School General Presidency.
NOTE: We know from the Church’s June 12 announcement that these changes have been made and will most likely be ratified by sustaining vote during General Conference. I don’t believe there will be any other changes here.
RESULT:
Young Men General Presidency: Change(s) made if new apostle(s) come from Young Men General Presidency.
NOTE: I don’t believe there will be any changes here.
RESULT:

October 2015 General Conference Speaking Order Predictions

Session
Conducting
Speaker
General Women’s
Bonnie L. Oscarson
Rosemary M. Wixom


Carol F. McConkie


Linda S. Reeves


President Thomas S. Monson
Saturday Morning
President Henry B. Eyring
President Thomas S. Monson


President Russell M. Nelson


Elder Richard J. Maynes


Neill F. Marriott


Elder Kim B. Clark


Elder Quentin L. Cook


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Saturday Afternoon
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring (Sustaining of Church Officers)


Elder Robert D. Hales


Elder M. Russell Ballard


Elder Von G. Keetch


Elder Allen D. Haynie


Elder Hugo Montoya


Elder Vern P. Stanfill


Elder Neil L. Andersen
Saturday Priesthood
President Henry B. Eyring
Elder David A. Bednar


Bishop Gary E. Stevenson


Elder Ronald A. Rasband


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


President Henry B. Eyring


President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Morning
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
President Henry B. Eyring


New apostle #1


New apostle #2


New apostle #3


Elder D. Todd Christofferson


President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
Elder Dallin H. Oaks


Carole M. Stephens


Devin G. Durrant


Elder Mervyn B. Arnold


Elder Yoon Hwan Choi


Elder Kevin R. Duncan


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland


President Thomas S. Monson