Quorum Apostles Lead Sessions in April Conference

Quorum Apostles Lead Sessions in April Conference


In a surprising departure from tradition, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a notable change to the April 2024 general conference lineup. Instead of having members of the First Presidency lead all sessions, he invited members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to conduct several of them. This decision, while rare, reflects President Nelson's leadership style and his commitment to involving the Twelve Apostles more actively in the Church's affairs.

During the conference held on April 6-7, three out of five sessions were conducted by members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, acknowledged this shift at the start of the Saturday morning session, expressing gratitude for the assistance provided by the Apostles. Elder Gary E. Stevenson and Elder Dale G. Renlund, both members of the Twelve, took turns conducting sessions later in the day.

Historically, it has been customary for members of the First Presidency to preside over all general conference sessions. However, there have been instances in the past where this tradition was deviated from, particularly when members of the First Presidency were absent. On such occasions, the senior-most Apostle not in the First Presidency would typically assume the role of session conductor. Interestingly, this was not the case during the April 2024 conference, as there are now more Apostles with longer tenures than Elder Stevenson, who was ordained in 2015.

The most recent precedent for this shift occurred in the April 2022 general conference when President Jean B. Bingham, then serving as the Relief Society general president, conducted a session. This change is indicative of a broader trend under President Nelson's leadership, where he has sought to involve members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in various aspects of Church leadership and ministry.

Since assuming the role of Church President in January 2018, President Nelson has been intentional about involving Apostles in his ministry trips and in presiding over temple dedications and rededications. He has expressed deep appreciation and affection for his fellow Apostles, likening his relationship with them to that of a father with his children. President Nelson finds immense joy in witnessing his brethren carry out the work of the Church across the globe, drawing parallels to the happiness of a father watching his children experience success.

This strategic decision to involve members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles more actively aligns with President Nelson's vision for the Church and his desire to strengthen the bonds of unity among its leadership. By sharing responsibilities traditionally held by the First Presidency, President Nelson is not only empowering his fellow Apostles but also fostering a culture of collaboration and shared leadership within the Church.

Moreover, this shift underscores President Nelson's commitment to adaptability and innovation in Church governance. As the Church continues to grow and evolve in a rapidly changing world, President Nelson's willingness to embrace new approaches demonstrates his proactive approach to leadership and his dedication to advancing the work of the gospel.

In conclusion, the decision to have members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles conduct select sessions of the April 2024 general conference marks a significant departure from tradition under President Russell M. Nelson's leadership. This change reflects President Nelson's commitment to involving Apostles more actively in Church leadership and ministry and underscores his willingness to innovate and adapt in service of the gospel. As the Church moves forward under President Nelson's guidance, this shift signals a new era of collaboration and shared leadership among its highest governing bodies.


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