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What's next for Romney? Become a Mormon apostle? Oversee an LDS mission?

Published November 12, 2012 2:24 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As speculation escalates about what Mitt Romney will do after his failed presidential bid, outsiders continue to turn to his Mormonism for possible answers.

Last November, Bloomberg columnist Albert R. Hunt opined that if Romney didn't win, he could become LDS Church president instead.

Now others are wondering about different Mormon options for the faith's the most-visible member. Apostle? Mission president? Overseer of the Utah-based church's vast financial holdings?

None of the above is more likely.

For starters, becoming the Mormon president, considered by the faithful to be a "prophet, seer and revelator," is out.

It is not an elected or appointed position but, by long-standing practice, goes to the senior member of the church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles. There are currently no openings in that quorum.

While several politicians have been called to be Mormon mission presidents – the late Utah Congressman Wayne Owens oversaw missionaries in Montreal after losing his bid to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Jake Garn in 1974, and Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, is retiring at the end of this term to serve as an LDS mission president — Romney's profile could be too high for the church to use him in that way.

It is also hard to see the Republican nominee as part of the church's financial team, taking orders from apostles.

No doubt the LDS hierarchy will find some use for Romney's talents, though. He already has been the bishop of a Mormon congregation and a stake president, who presided over several Mormon congregations.

Maybe he could do a stint as his congregation's employment specialist, helping ward members do what his campaign promised for out-of-work Americans: find jobs.

Peggy Fletcher Stack