Need more information?

Top Leaderboard

Monday, February 27, 2017

The most extensive apostolic milestone update I have ever done

Some may say that the title I have given this post is boastful, but my intention in writing this one really is to give the most extensive apostolic milestone update I have ever done. I will be throwing out a lot of information here, so please bear with me. Since the preparation of this post spanned several days, the information shared is current as of yesterday. I hope you will pardon my delay in getting this post done once you read it.

First of all, President Russell M. Nelson, who holds the dual distinction of being both the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (which makes him next in the line of succession for the presidency of the Church) and being the oldest currently living apostle, has served as Quorum President for 1 year, 7 months, and 23 days. I have mentioned before that he is currently the 21st longest-serving Quorum President of the 27 we have had, and that by the time that my wife and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary (December 18), he will have jumped 5 spots to become the 16th longest-serving Quorum President.

He will take the 20th spot from Brigham Young Jr., who, as before noted, had two separate tenures as Quorum President. President Nelson, as some of you might recall, passed President Young Jr.'s second (and shortest) tenure during the last few days of last year. President Young Jr.'s first (and longest) tenure record is the one that President Nelson will break next. That will happen 2 months and 9 days from today, on Friday May 5. He won't have to wait long to reach the next milestones. Merely 30 days later, on Sunday June 4, he will take the spot currently held by George Albert Smith. Then he will pass Heber J. Grant 5 weeks later, on Sunday July 9 (less than a week after commemorating two years as Quorum President). Just over three months later, on Wednesday October 11, President Nelson will pass Anthon H. Lund. And by two months and one week later, he will reach the spot now held by Harold B. Lee. By all accounts, President Nelson is doing very well and is still actively involved in traveling and filling assignments around the world. So I have no doubts that he will live long enough to become the oldest living apostle. More on that in a moment.

For now, we turn our attention to President Thomas S. Monson. Having celebrated his 9th anniversary as Church President just 23 days ago, he seems to be doing a bit better health-wise. We will have to see how he is looking during General Conference. He is less than 6 months away from celebrating his 90th birthday, which will happen a mere 8 days following the dedication of the Tucson Arizona Temple. He now stands as the 9th longest-serving Church President, and he will take the #8 spot now held by Wilford Woodruff on the last day of June of this year. Other than these two, he will not mark any other tenure or age milestones before the end of this year.

Now, before going on to give some apostolic age statistics, I did want to mention a couple of other things. With the downtime I had this weekend, as I had strength to do so, I did some additional research. And I was able to verify that our current First Presidency is the fifth in the top five longest continuous serving First Presidency in Church history. Presidents Monson, Eyring, and Uchtdorf will jump two spots up the list by the end of the July recess. They will become the 4th longest serving First Presidency on Wednesday June 28, passing the First Presidency that was composed of Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, and Joseph F. Smith. When they take the #3 spot on July 31, they will pass the First Presidency that was composed of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Daniel H. Wells. And in just one day less than three years from then, they will have become the longest serving First Presidency in Church history. Oddly enough, the record they will break on that day will be the one set by a presidency in which President Monson also served, along with Presidents Gordon B. Hinckley and James E. Faust. There is every possibility that could happen.

As to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I have only been able to find information on 13 such groups that could be termed to be the longest-serving without interruption or change. Given that our current apostles would need to serve until January 17, 2019 to take that 13th spot and even be on the list, I am not sure how likely that might be to happen. I won't dismiss it as impossible, but given what I know about the health of at least one or two members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, it seems like it might not happen for a while.

And I think that in the same breath, we can also say that our current 15 apostles don't have much chance, if any, of becoming the longest serving such group. To reach even the second longest such time period, there will have to be no apostolic deaths whatsoever for the next 5 years, 1 month, and 7 days. And if, by some miracle, they make that milestone, to have the distinction of the longest such time period, there would have to be no apostolic deaths until mid-January 2025, four months after President Nelson would become the first centenarian apostle.

That said, the longevity of service and how well our apostles are pressing on and getting the work of the Lord done in spite of difficulties relating to age and health cannot be overstated. So let's talk a few numbers there. In doing so, I will be mentioning not only the decimal ages and averages of our apostles by the three groups under which they fall (First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and 15 apostles in total), but also break down how old they are in terms of years, months, and days, which I have not done before in any previous update.

I would also like to mention (for what it's worth) that we will have somewhat of a "dry season" in terms of upcoming apostolic birthdays. Elder Rasband's was the last such birthday (20 days ago), and the next one will be President Eyring's on May 31 (94 days away, which works out to three months and five days). That said, let's get to specifics.

President Monson today stands at 89 years, 6 months, and 5 days old (being the decimal age of 89.52). President Eyring is 83 years, 8 months, and 26 days old (83.74). And President Uchtdorf is 76 years, 3 months, and 20 days old, which puts his decimal age at 76.31. Our First Presidency has 249.57 years of combined life experience, which puts the average age of the three at 83.19 years.

Now for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: President Nelson, the oldest and most senior of that number, stands at 92 years, 5 months, and 17 days, or 92.47 years, putting him very close to his half-year mark. Elder Oaks is 84 years, 6 months, and 14 days, or 84.54 years. Elder Ballard, who is the second oldest in the Quorum (being just over a year younger than President Monson) is 88 years, 4 months, and 18 days old, which puts his decimal age at 88.39 years old. Elder Hales, just 12 days younger than Elder Oaks, is 84 years, 6 months, and 2 days old, or the decimal age of 84.51 years. This rounds out the first third of the quorum.

As for the next third, Elder Holland is the most senior, but the second oldest of that quarter. The last of our three apostles born in 1940, he is 76 years, 2 months, and 23 days old, or 76.23 years old (I have no doubt he will be at least a quarter of a year past his birthday during my next update.) Elder Bednar is the next senior but the youngest of the four (being the third youngest of our 15 apostles as a group) being 64 years, 8 months, and 11 days years old, or 64.70 years. Elder Cook is the oldest of these four, being 76 years, 5 months, and 18 days old, which makes him 76.47 years old. He will not likely reach the half-year mark until around two weeks from now (as it seems that, for the most part, our apostles gain .02 years each week. There are obvious exceptions to that, but that seems to be the general rule.) And rounding out the second third of the quorum is Elder Christofferson, just about 4.75 years younger than Elder Cook. Elder Christofferson stands at 72 years, 1 month, and 2 days old, or 72.09 in decimal years.

That brings us to the final third of the quorum. That third is the youngest it's been in a while, despite the fact that only two of the four are younger than Elder Bednar. So let's talk specifics. The first two apostles were born just six months apart. The younger and most senior of the two, Elder Andersen, is 65 years, 6 months, and 17 days old, which works out to 65.55 decimal years old.

Sidenote here: Elder Rasband, called to the apostleship 6.5 years after Elder Andersen, was, like Elder Andersen, the senior president of the Seventy at the time of his call. Oddly enough, Elder Andersen and Elder Rasband were both called to the Presidency of the Seventy in August 2005, and their paths to the apostleship were markedly different. Elder Andersen had 12 years in the First Quorum prior to his call to the Presidency of the Seventy (as a further coincidence, Elder Andersen was called as a General Authority during the same General Conference as Elder Christofferson, the next most senior apostle). Elder Andersen's service in the Presidency of the Seventy spanned just over three years, from August 2005 to his apostolic call in April 2009, and he spent the last four months of his tenure in the Presidency of the Seventy as the Senior President thereof.

Elder Rasband, on the other hand, served in the Presidency of the Seventy for just over 10 years, from August 2005 until his apostolic call in October 2015. He had become the Senior President when his predecessor in that position was called to the apostleship. And he served as the Senior President for 6.5 years before his own apostolic call.

With all that side information, Elder Rasband's exact age is 66 years, 0 months, and 20 days, putting his decimal age at 66.05 years old. The second most junior apostle is also currently our youngest one, being exactly 4.5 years younger than Elder Rasband, to the day. That puts him at 61 years, 6 months, and 20 days old, or 61.56 years old. And our most junior apostle, Elder Renlund, is just under 5 months younger than Elder Bednar, being 64 years, 3 months, and 13 days old, or 64.29 years old.

So what does all this mean in terms of the average ages of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the 15 apostles as a group? Well, the Twelve Apostles have a total of 896.85 years of life experience, working out to an average of 74.74 years. And the 15 apostles have a whopping total life experience spanning 1146.42 years, which averages out to 76.43 years.

Let's now talk about where President Nelson stands among our other 17 nonagenarian apostles, and how close the other 14 currently serving apostles are to having that distinction. I have mentioned President Nelson's stats in this regard before, but this is the first time that I will mention where the other current ones are in terms of joining that list. President Nelson is, as I have before noted, ranks as the 10th of those 17 nonagenarians. In just over 4 months, and coincidentally just one day after my wife and I mark the 7th anniversary of our engagement (Wednesday July 5), President Nelson jumps to the #9 spot, which is currently held by Elder L. Tom Perry.

About three and a half months later, on Wednesday October 18, President Nelson will become the 8th oldest living apostle, taking the spot held by Richard R. Lyman (who was the most recent apostle to be excommunicated; that happened jut over a month after Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson became apostles in October 1943; Elder Lyman was rebaptized just under 11 years later and died 20 years after that; as another side note, many of his former apostolic colleagues urged him to have his blessings restored, but he never did so; it appears he may be the only excommunicated former apostle in Church history that reportedly felt so unworthy about the idea of having all that restored that even now, just over 53 years after his death, that has not happened and may not ever happen.) In spite of Elder Lyman's tragic circumstances, he still technically lived long enough to rank as the 8th oldest of the nonagenarian apostles, even if he was no longer an apostle at the time of his death.

The last milestone President Nelson will observe this year in his current on-track path to become the oldest living apostle in Church history will happen 2 months and 4 days after the last one (which will also be 3 days before Christmas). Assuming he is still alive at that time (which wouldn't surprise me at all), he will take the #7 spot, which is currently held by Charles W. Penrose. And all he would need to do to become the oldest living apostle, to which I had previously made mention, is live until the second Monday of August 2022. And that seems very doable.

That said, as I have mentioned earlier on in this post, President Monson seems to be on track to become the 18th nonagenarian apostle, which will happen in less than six months. President Monson will jump one spot on that list 1 month and 6 days after his 90th birthday, passing J. Reuben Clark.

In the meantime, Elder Ballard will join the ranks of the nonagenarians in 1 year, 7 months, and 12 days. He will be joined by Elder Oaks and Elder Hales about 4 years after that (making 5 years, 5 months, and 17 days for Elder Oaks, and 12 days after that for Elder Hales). Less than a year later, it will be President Eyring's turn (as right now his 90th birthday is 6 years, 3 months, and 5 days away). The next apostles to reach the nonagenarian mark will be Elder Cook (13 years, 6 months, and 13 days from now); President Uchtdorf (1 month and 28 days after Elder Cook), and Elder Holland (27 days after President Uchtdorf).

It will be 4 years, 1 month and 21 days after Elder Holland's 90th that Elder Christofferson will join the nonagenarians. And the birthdays of Elders Christofferson and Rasband are only separated by 13 days on the calendar, in spite of the fact that they are additionally six years apart, so Elder Rasband's 90th is 23 years, 11 months, and 11 days away. And Elder Andersen is 6 months and 3 days younger than Elder Rasband, so he will have his 90th in the same year. The next year will see two additional apostles join the list of nonagenarians, Elder Bednar's 90th will take place in just over a quarter-century, in 25 years, 3 months, and 20 days. Just two days short of five months after that, it will be Elder Renlund's turn. And our youngest apostle, Elder Stevenson, will mark his 90th birthday in 28 years, 5 months, and 11 days.

Well, there you have it. I hope it is now obvious why I said at the beginning of this post that it would be the most extensive update in terms of apostolic statistics that I have ever done. I hope that at least a few of you enjoyed reading all of this information even partially as much as I enjoyed putting it together. It took me several days to actually get it done.

That said, I again express my absolute appreciation and admiration to all of you who continually read every post I do, whatever subjects I "sound off" about. I hope that the information, statistics, and insights I share are helpful to even a very small number of you. It is because of your appreciation for what I have to say that I am able to continue to share what I do, and that is something I hope I will never take for granted. Any comments are welcome. Whether you want to share your feedback on my work, ask for or give clarification and/or correction about information I share, or want to bring to my attention something I should have blogged about but have not yet focused on, I am reading your comments. Even on days when I don't post new content, I do try to at least check for new comments. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks again.