SALT LAKE CITY — President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will broadcast a live message to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Tuesday at 9 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.
That broadcast will be followed by a press conference at 10 a.m. MST.
Both events will be shared on all church broadcast, internet and social media channels in 29 languages.
The invitation to church members to a live broadcast an hour before a press conference is unprecedented. So is the live translation of a press conference into 29 languages.
The church has been without a First Presidency since the death of President Thomas S. Monson, the 16th president of the LDS Church, who died Jan. 2 at the age of 90. His funeral was held Friday in Salt Lake City.
The First Presidency automatically dissolved upon President Monson's death. Since then, the church has been led by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, an interim period referred to as "apostolic interregnum."
The senior apostle of the church has been chosen to be the church's president throughout its history. President Nelson is the faith's senior apostle.
The quorum's current 13 members are expected to meet this weekend. They could vote to organize a new First Presidency or to continue the interregnum that has been in place for 11 days now.
Either way, there will be new leadership on Tuesday — a new First Presidency or the introduction of an ongoing interregnum.
The Quorum of the Twelve is "equal in authority and power" to the First Presidency, according to LDS scripture.
The last time an interim period between the death of one church president and the setting apart of the next lasted as long as 11 days was 1898, when President Lorenzo Snow was set apart as the new president of the church 11 days after the death of President Wilford Woodruff.
The quorum could meet Saturday but is more likely to do so on Sunday. Monday is a holiday in Utah and generally a day off for LDS general authorities, who act as traveling ministers around the world on weekends.
If the apostles don't meet, organize a new First Presidency and set apart a new church president Saturday, this will become the longest interregnum since 1887-89, when 20 months passed during the transition from President John Taylor to President Woodruff.
If the quorum were to reorganize the First Presidency, and if President Nelson were set apart as the 17th president of the church, it would create a vacancy in the presidency of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, because he is second in seniority within the quorum, would become its new president.
In this scenario, President Nelson then would select his counselors in the First Presidency. If President Oaks were one of them, then an acting quorum president would be needed. That role would fall to Elder M. Russell Ballard, as third in seniority.
The last time that happened was during the administration of President Gordon B. Hinckley, when the next senior apostle, President Thomas S. Monson, served as his first counselor and president of the Twelve. President Boyd K. Packer, who was third in seniority at the time, served as acting president of the Twelve.
Tuesday's message will be broadcast live on LDS.org and on the church satellite system in Cambodian, Cebuano, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Swedish, Tagalog, Tahitian, Thai, Tongan, Spanish, Ukrainian, and ASL, with closed captioning in English, Mormon Channel, Canal Mormón (Spanish), MormonNewsroom.org, KSL Ch. 5, the KSL-TV app, BYUtv, BYUtv Global, KBYU Ch. 11, and BYUtv International. In addition, audio broadcasts will air on KSL Newsradio (1160 AM and 102.7 FM) and BYU Radio.