At Pres. Nelson's first and probably last press conference for the general public, he addressed the lack of diversity in the First Presidency/Quorum of the Twelve by pointing out how many countries are represented by the 84 men in the Quorum of the Seventy. With every vacancy in the top fifteen, the odds increase: will we finally get a non-white apostle?
Pres. Monson had five opportunities. All five of his selections were white men born in Utah. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, called by Pres. Hinckley in 2004, was the first non-American in 71 years to become an Apostle (the previous being the Irish Charles A. Callis), and he remains the lone non-American in the Quorum.
So based on past callings, with information comes inspiration, let's see what the odds are of the next two to be called.
CATEGORY #1 - WHITE AMERICANS
|Craig C. Christensen|
The Presidency of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric are where new Apostles most often come from. The white Americans currently in these offices are L. Whitney Clayton (68), Craig C. Christensen (61), Lynn G. Robbins (65), Dean M. Davies (66), and W. Christopher Waddell (58).
Ever since David Bednar turned 60, this is the only and longest time in Church history that every man in the FP/Q12 have been at least 60. Also it's very rare for an Apostle to be over 70 when called. It stands to reason that at least one of the two new ones will be younger than 60. Now to factor in the presidents of BYU and BYU-Idaho, you add Kevin J. Worthen (62), Henry J. Eyring (54), Clark Gilbert (49), and Kim B. Clark (68).
There's also the Sunday School and Young Men's Presidencies to consider. Pres. Nelson was Sunday School President when he was called. This would mean Stephen W. Owen (59), Douglas D. Holmes (56), Monte Joseph Brough (54), Devin Durrant (57) and Brian K. Ashton (49) are possible (I'm excluding 72-year-old Tad R. Callister). I also don't give Durrant much of a shot after his "Ponderize" talk backfired.
Next we would consider the General Authority Seventies, now called as such after the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy were combined. From this bunch, I will rule out any man 66 or over, and who hasn't been in at least two years. This leaves several options.
In order of seniority from when he was called into the Q70:
Paul V. Johnson (63), Paul B. Pieper (60), Shayne M. Bowen (63), Marcus B. Nash (60), Anthony D. Perkins (57), Kevin W. Pearson (60), James R. Martino (56), Brent H. Nielson (63), Michael T. Ringwood (60), Kevin R. Duncan (57), Carl B. Cook (60), LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. (65), Scott D. Whiting (56), Randy D. Funk (65), Kevin S. Hamilton (62), Gifford Nielsen (63), Allen D. Haynie (59), and Vern P. Stanfill (60).
Now, of all of these candidates, L. Whitney Clayton has a decent shot despite his age. He holds the same office Ronald A. Rasband did when he was called to be an Apostle. Clayton's calling could mean a further hardline approach that Nelson signalled when he swapped out Uchtdorf for Oaks in the FIrst Presidency. I am less inclined to think the others in this Presidency would have a shot.
If Nelson calls one white American and one who isn't, I would guess it would follow the Uchtdorf-Bednar pattern where the American is the younger one. Therefore I'd increase the odds of those under 60. I also wouldn't rule out Henry J. Eyring due to nepotism. "If the Lord wants a father and son to serve together, then it's the Lord's will." Plenty of fathers and sons have been in the FP/Q12 at the same time in the past.
Now let's look at the other categories.
CATEGORY #2 - NON-WHITE AMERICANS
|Gerritt W. Gong|
CATEGORY #3 - WHITE NON-AMERICANS
I'm just going with the UK/Canadian/Australian men for this. There's Patrick Kearon (56) from the U.K., just barely called into the Presidency of the Seventy. One would also have to consider Christoffel Golden (65), David S. Baxter (63), Ian S. Ardern (63), Randall K. Bennett (62), and Terence Vinson (66) as well. I'll also add the Germans Erich Kopischke (61) and Jorg Klebigat (50).
CATEGORY #4 - NON-WHITE NON-AMERICANS
From the General Authority Seventy, there's Claudio RM Costa (68), Walter F. Gonzalez (65), Marcos Aidukaitis (58), Benjamin de Hoyos (65), Enrique Falabella (67), Claudio D. Zivic (69), Michael John U. Teh (52), Eduardo Gavarrett (61), Carlos A. Godoy (57), Rafael E. Pino (62), Jose A. Teixeira (57), Jorge Zeballos (62), Yoon Hwan Choi (60), Joseph W. Sitati (65), Jose L. Alonso (59), O. Vincent Haleck (69), Kazuhiko Yamashita (64), Edward Dube (55), Arnulfo Valenzuela (58), and Chi Hong "Sam" Wong (55).
MOST LIKELY WHITE AMERICANS:
|W. Christopher Waddell|
W. Christopher Waddell, Kevin J. Worthen, L. Whitney Clayton, Shayne M. Bowen, Henry J. Eyring, Kevin R. Duncan, Kevin W. Pearson, Stephen W. Owen, Clark Gilbert, Michael T. Ringwood
MOST LIKELY NON-WHITE AMERICANS:
Gerritt W. Gong, Hugo E. Martinez
MOST LIKELY WHITE NON-AMERICANS:
Patrick Kearon, Jorg Klebigat
MOST LIKELY NON-WHITE NON-AMERICANS: