The LDS Church is in the hands of a heart surgeon.
On Tuesday, Mormons around the world will find out if it stays there.
That’s when prophet-in-waiting Russell M. Nelson, who has been presiding over the faith for nearly two weeks, will announce new leadership of the nearly 16 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
And, thanks to this digital age, he’ll do so via a live broadcast at 9 a.m. made available in 29 languages to the global membership, according to a news release Saturday.
Afterward, Nelson, who built a renowned reputation as a cardiac specialist, will hold a 10 a.m. news conference with reporters at the Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City.
The 93-year-old Nelson, as senior apostle, has been the top authority in the Utah-based faith since the Jan. 2 death of 90-year-old church President Thomas S. Monson, who was buried Friday.
Nelson currently serves as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In the nearly 188-year history of the LDS Church, the longest-serving apostle always has been the one to take over the faith’s reins.
If Nelson, as expected, does so, he would be the second-oldest apostle in Mormon history to assume the presidency. (Joseph Fielding Smith, the church’s 10th prophet, was a few months older at the time he rose to the post.)
The next church president also will select two counselors to serve with him the governing First Presidency. Those individuals likely will be revealed Tuesday as well.
Apostles Henry B. Eyring, 84, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 77, were Monson’s counselors. They could be retained or be returned to their respective places in the Quorum of the Twelve.
Assuming Nelson becomes the church’s 17th president, the quorum would be headed by the next apostle in the succession line, Dallin H. Oaks — unless, say, the 85-year-old former Utah Supreme Court justice joins the First Presidency.
Another opening already exists in the apostleship after the Oct. 1 death of Robert D. Hales.
Tuesday’s announcement will be shown at lds.org and on other Mormon church broadcast, internet and social media channels.