Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died at home July 3.
He died of health complications due to his age, according to Mormon Newsroom.
“I am a little sad,” Ellie Miller a sophomore studying business management said. “He was a spiritual giant who taught me a lot growing up.”
President Packer was serving as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the time of his passing, a position he held since Feb 3, 2008.
President Packer is the second apostle from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to die this year. Elder L. Tom Perry died of cancer at age 93 on May 30.
“I’m kinda sad because him and Perry were my favorites, and they both died this year,” said Katrina Brown, a senior studying fine arts.
A new apostle has not been ordained since after the death of Elder Joseph B. Worthlin in 2008.
“I assure you that the Church is in good hands,” said President Thomas S. Monson, of the Church said. “The system set up for the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve assures that it will always be in good hands and that, come what may, there is no need to worry or to fear. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we follow, whom we worship, and whom we serve, is ever at the helm.”
Georgina Dibble, a senior studying English, said she is not worried about the vacancy left by President Packer.
“It’s sad that he died, but I don’t think it’s worrying at all,” Dibble said. “I know there is a chain that they follow, so it’s not something that we need to worry about.”
Apostles are chosen through inspiration by the president of the Church, sustained by the general membership of the Church, and ordained by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by the laying on of hands.
When a vacancy occurs, a replacement in the Quorum of the Twelve is called by the President of the Church, who receives inspiration in extending the call, according to the Church’s website.
The new member of the Twelve might be called from one of the Quorums of the Seventy, which are made up of general authorities who are senior leaders in the Church, or from general Church membership around the world, according to Mormon Newsroom.
Seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve is determined by the date an apostle is called rather than by age.
Brenda Obando a senior studying business management, said she is familiar with the process of selecting a new member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gathers together and they propose names, especially the general authorities,” Obando said. “I don’t know how many names, but they interview them. It has to be unanimous in the First Presidency.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a October 2014 general conference address, “Sustaining the Prophets,” that leaders in the Church are called by the authority of God.
“All leaders in the Lord’s Church are called by proper authority,” Nelson said. “No prophet or any other leader in this Church for that matter, has ever called himself or herself. No prophet has ever been elected. The Lord made that clear when he said, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you’. You and I do not ‘vote’ on Church leaders at any level. We do, though, have the privilege of sustaining them.”
Bryan McNeil, a sophomore studying computer information technology, said that although it is sad when an apostle passes away, such as President Packer, but he is comforted by the knowledge that a new apostle will be chosen to lead the Church.
“All the problems nowadays—things change a lot—things are different than Jesus’ time, so it’s nice to know we’re always prepared for what’s going to happen.”