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A Latter-day First: Church Has 4 Nonagenarian Apostles, Including Entire First Presidency

President Eyring turned 90 years old on May 31, joining President Nelson, 98; President Ballard, 94; and President Oaks, 90

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, greets President Russell M. Nelson as he arrives with his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor, at the start of the Saturday afternoon session of general conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, courtesy of Church News. Copyright 2023 Deseret News Publishing Company.

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By Scott Taylor, Church News

With President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, celebrating his 90th birthday Wednesday, May 31, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has for the first time four nonagenarian apostles, including all three members of the First Presidency.

Leading the four who are 90 years or older is President Russell M. Nelson, the 98-year-old Church President, who will turn 99 in September and has been since April 14, 2022, the Church’s longest-living President.

Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is celebrating his 98th birthday today in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, September 9, 2022. On April 14, 2022, he became the oldest president in Church history. 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, celebrated his 90th birthday last August, and President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is 94 and will turn 95 in October.

It is only the seventh time in the Church’s 193-year history that two or more of the senior leaders — presidents of the Church, counselors in the First Presidency or members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — have been 90 years old or older at the same time.

It first happened on July 19, 1966, when President Joseph Fielding Smith, who at the time was both President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and an additional First Presidency counselor, turned 90, joining 92-year-old Church President David O. McKay. President Smith succeeded President McKay following the latter’s death at age 96 in early 1970; President Smith lived to be 95.

On June 23, 2000, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley turned 90. Elder David B. Haight was 93 years old at the time — and lived four more years before passing at the age of 97.

Nearly three years after Elder Haight’s death, President Hinckley was briefly joined by another member of the Twelve, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, who turned 90 on June 11, 2007. President Hinckley celebrated his 97th birthday two weeks later and lived for six more months.

The first time the Church had three Apostles in their 90s came in 2014. Elder L. Tom Perry had turned 90 in August 2012 and was 92 when President Nelson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, turned 90 on Sept. 9, 2014, and President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Twelve, turned 90 the following day. Elder Perry died eight months later and President Packer passed away a little more than a month after that.

President Nelson was nearly 93 years old and President of the Twelve when Church President Thomas S. Monson turned 90 on August 17, 2017. President Monson died five months later.

President Nelson was 94 when President Ballard turned 90 on October 8, 2018. And President Oaks made the Church’s second-ever trio of nonagenarian apostles when he turned 90 on August 12 of last year, with President Nelson 97 and President Ballard 93.

The group of apostles in their 90s will remain rather exclusive for some time, as the next oldest members of the Twelve — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder Quentin L. Cook — are each 82 years old.

Latter-day Apostles Who Reached 90 Years of Age


Turned 90


Age at Death

Age in

Wilford Woodruff

March 1, 1897

September 2, 1898


Charles W. Penrose

February 4, 1922

May 16, 1925


J. Reuben Clark

September 1, 1961

October 6, 1961


David O. McKay

September 8, 1963

January 18, 1970


Joseph Fielding Smith

July 19, 1966

July 2, 1972


Hugh B. Brown

October 24, 1973

December 2, 1975


LeGrand Richards

February 6, 1976

January 11, 1983


Spencer W. Kimball

March 28, 1985

November 5, 1985


Marion G. Romney

September 19, 1987

May 20, 1988


Ezra Taft Benson

August 4, 1989

May 30, 1994


David B. Haight

September 2, 1996

July 31, 2004


Gordon B. Hinckley

June 23, 2000

January 27, 2008


Joseph B. Wirthlin

June 11, 2007

December 1, 2008


L. Tom Perry

August 5, 2012

May 30, 2015


Russell M. Nelson

September 9, 2014


Boyd K. Packer

September 10, 2014

July 3, 2015


Thomas S. Monson

August 21, 2017

January 2, 2018


M. Russell Ballard

October 8, 2018


Dallin H. Oaks

August 12, 2022


Henry B. Eyring

May 31, 2023


Copyright 2023 Deseret News Publishing Company.

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