Monday, October 13, 2008

Interesting Facts about the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Having recently read all the public biographical material on the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles I thought I would share a few interesting tidbits I learned. Since this is a missionary-oriented blog I will start with the missionary information first then share a few other factoids.

Eight out of the fifteen Apostles served a full-time mission: L. Tom Perry, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Richard G. Scott, Jeffrey R. Holland, David A. Bednar, Quentin L. Cook, and D. Todd Christofferson.

Seven out of the fifteen Apostles did not serve a full-time mission because of restrictions due to war: Thomas S. Monson, Henry D. Eyring, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Boyd K. Packer, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, and Robert D. Hales.

The five men served as mission president: Thomas S. Monson, Boyd K. Packer, M. Russell Ballard, Richard G. Scott, and Robert D. Hales.

Only two men served both as a mission president and as a full-time missionary: M. Russell Ballard and Richard G. Scott.

Two members of the Twelve served as missionary companions: Jeffrey R. Holland and Quentin L. Cook.

One member of the Twelve Richard G. Scott was the mission president of another member D. Todd Christofferson.

One member Jeffrey R. Holland served in the British Mission at the same time as his parents Frank and Alice Holland.

Two men Thomas S. Monson and M. Russell Ballard were mission presidents in the Toronto Canada Mission.

Three men served in the British Mission as full-time missionaries: M. Russell Ballard, Jeffrey R. Holland and Quentin L. Cook.

Four men did not serve on a mission or as a mission president: Henry D. Eyring, Dieter Uchdorf, Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks.

Two men Boyd K. Packer and Robert D. Hales served as a mission president while also serving as general authorities.

Richard G. Scott's girlfriend wouldn't marry him unless he went on a mission which he did to Uruguay. She also served a mission while he was gone.

One member L. Tom Perry served a full-time mission during World War II and then served in the military in the marine corp.

One member Dallin H. Oaks never served as a full-time missionary, bishop, stake president, mission president, seventy, or member of the presiding bishopric before being called. Although he did serve as a stake president's counselor and regional representative of the Twelve.

Nine of the apostles Henry D. Eyring, Russell M. Nelson, Jeffrey R. Holland, Dallin H. Oaks,Richard G. Scott, Robert D. Hales, David A. Bednar, and D. Todd Christoffer served as a regional representatives of the Twelve.

Two apostles Russell M. Nelson and Joseph B. Wirthlin served together for many years first on a high council in Salt Lake City, then in a stake presidency, and in the general Sunday School presidency before finally serving together in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles so most of their adult lives they have associated in church assignments.

Family Life

Two members of the Twelve Jeffrey R. Holland and Russell M. Nelson grew up in homes where there father were inactive when they were young. A third member David A. Bednar baptized his own father in to the Church when he was a student at Purdue University in 1979.

In terms of family size there are 75 children among the 15 Apostles so they average five children per family. The first presidency has eleven children or nearly four children per family.

Four apostles L. Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, Joseph B. Wirthlin, and Richard G. Scott had wives pass away. Three of them remarried L. Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks. Two of them Joseph B. Wirthlin and Richard G. Scott have not remarried so far.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf is the only apostle who was born outside the United States.

Henry B. Eyring is the only member of the Twelve whose home was used for Church worship. His kitchen table was used as the rostrum and sacrament table for church services.

Two apostles Quentin L. Cook and L. Tom Perry grew up in Logan.

Dallin H. Oaks was born at home in Provo at 242 West 400 North. When I was a student I rented one of three apartments from Argene Olson who pointed out the spot where a television now stood so I can say I lived where Dallin H. Oaks was born.

L. Tom Perry's dad had him milk a cow even though they lived in the city of Logan so he could teach him hard work on a farm.

M. Russell Ballard is the grandson of two apostles Melvin J. Ballard (father side) and Hyrum Mack Smith (mother's side).

Richard G. Scott has had children who have died.

Education/Professional Career

President Thomas S. Monson graduated from both the University of Utah and BYU.

Five apostles Thomas S. Monson, Dallin H. Oaks, Jeffrey R. Holland, David A. Bednar and D. Todd Christofferson attended BYU. Six apostles Thomas S. Monson, Russell M. Nelson, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Robert D. Hales, and Henry B. Eyring, attended the University of Utah. Three apostles Boyd K. Packer, L. Tom Perry, Quentin L. Cook attended Utah State University.

Six members of the Twelve attended Ivy League Schools. Two members of the Twelve Henry B. Eyring and Robert D. Hales graduated from Harvard. Jeffrey R. Holland graduated from Yale. Quentin L. Cook graduated from Stanford. Dallin H. Oaks graduated from the University of Chicago. D. Todd Christofferson graduated from Duke.

All fifteen apostles attended college. Thirteen of the fifteen apostles graduated from college the other two M. Russell Ballard and Dieter F. Uchtdorf both attended but didn't graduate.

Three Apostles Boyd K. Packer, Henry D. Eyring, and Jeffrey R. Holland worked for the Church Educational System. Four apostles were university administrators Henry D. Eyring, Jeffrey R. Holland, Dallin H. Oaks and David A. Bednar. All four apostles also were presidents of Church universities.

Three Apostles Dallin H. Oaks, Quentin L. Cook, and D. Todd Christofferson were lawyers.

D. Todd Christofferson assisted in the Watergate trials. Dallin H. Oaks was a clerk for Supreme Court justice Earl Warren.

Richard G. Scott helped design nuclear submarines.

Three Apostles were business executives L. Tom Perry Robert D. Hales and Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Two apostles M. Russell Ballard and Joseph B. Wirthlin owned their own business.


President Thomas S. Monson has an executive box for the Utah Jazz basketball team.

Joseph B. Wirthlin started on the University of Utah football team.

Richard G. Scott once threw a no-hitter in baseball.

Jeffrey R. Holland was the co-captain of his college basketball team at Dixie College. In high school the football team and basketball teams he played on won the state championship.

Dallin H. Oaks announced high school basketball games and was a radio announcer while working on his undergraduate college degree.

Three apostles Boyd K. Packer, Henry D. Eyring, and Richard G. Scott are artists/painters. Dieter F. Uchtdorf is in to photography.

Boyd K. Packer carves birds. Thomas S. Monson raises pigeons.

Three apostles Thomas. S. Monson, Dallin H. Oaks, and M. Russell Ballard like to go fishing on occasion.

Three members Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Boyd K. Packer, Richard D. Scott and Robert D. Hales were pilots.


S.Faux said...

Dr. B:

You are an amazing collector of tid bits. Thanks.

Sledgehammer said...

Correcting the record:

Only three apostles attended Ivy League schools--Erying and Hales at Harvard, and Holland at Yale.
Stanford is a Pac-10 school, not an Ivy League school. Duke is in the ACC, and I don't know if the University of Chicago even plays sports. While those three schools are all impressive, it's incorrect to say they are members of the Ivy League since they aren't.

But other than that one little misstep, great article!

Tim Malone said...

I was just going to ask if anyone ever thanks you for your research, analysis and presentation but I see my friend and fellow blogger S.Faux beat me to it. But I'll add my thanks anyway. Great work and fascinating analysis! Very enjoyable. Just knowing that this resource is here, I'm sure I'll use it someday in a talk or lesson.

t.k. said...

This is a great and fun collection of facts. Thank you. One addition/correction -- Elder Robert D. Hales was also a pilot. He's talked about it quite a bit, sharing with us his squadron motto: Return With Honor.

Anonymous said...

And only one Apostle, Quentin L. Cook, was the CEO of the California Healthcare System, and presided over a transfer of millions of state dollars to through a dishonest leasing agreement CHS. He was a good enough lawyer to avoid any negative effects in his own life.

Anonymous said...


Seven out of the fifteen Apostles did not serve a full-time mission because of restrictions due to war: Thomas S. Monson, Henry D. Eyring, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Boyd K. Packer, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, and Robert D. Hales"

Uchtdorf was 20 in 1960, and there was no war then. He was drafted but instead of the 2 years as a soldier he chose to become an air force officer. Hales and Eyring volunteered for the air force instead of serving missions. And Monson ended his service in 1946 and, as Perry and Packer, or Faust before, could have served a mission but chose instead to marry.

Its misleading to say that "restrictions due to war" caused them not to serve. They chose to do something else instead of a mission. Oaks and Nelson could also have served but chose to stay in college and marry early.

Jacob J said...

Fascinating. Thanks for posting this.

krishna kashyap av said...

Too good..
Worth reading.
Thanks for a general knowledge
Work from home

Nancy in Utah said...

Thank you for this! I gaining 12 new young men in my SS class tomorrow, a week before conference, and I wanted to do something fun with them. This information will create the perfect guessing game for me to use in class as they get to know the apostles. Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Amazing data... The correct name of E. Eyring is Henry B. Eyring (not Henry D. Eyring)...

Allison said...

Elder Scott's parents were also inactive when he was a young boy