LDS presidents and miracles

I may have this wrong, but my understanding is that before a standing President dies, he prays and meditates until he decides (or God decides and lets him know) who the next Chosen one is. That person is then the President, and is considered a (or the?) current day prophet.

  1. Is that basically the order in which it happens?
  2. Is each President a Prophet?
  3. If 2 = “yes”, do these Prophets perform miracles? Or have visions? (I seem to remember something about having visions in front of witnesses in other posts)

Please don’t turn this into a bashing. Only in GB because of religious implications, not b/c I want to debate. I’m actually searching for a)Church dogma about these prophets/presidents and/or b)common standars or opinions of lds’ers.

If I’m wrong on 1, 2, and 3, I’d like to know that as well :slight_smile:


…list of Presidents since B.Y.

John Taylor—1877–87
Wilford Woodruff—1887–98
Lorenzo Snow—1898–1901
Joseph F. Smith—1901–18
Heber J. Grant—1918–45
George Albert Smith—1945–51
David O. McKay—1951–70
Joseph Fielding Smith—1970–72
Harold B. Lee—1972–73
Spencer W. Kimball—1973–85
Ezra Taft Benson—1985–94
Howard W. Hunter—1994–95
Gordon B. Hinckley—1995–present

just fyi…

You got it wrong. What usually happens is the Council of Twelve Apostles (the dudes living now, not the guys from around 2000 years ago) elects one of their number (or even some other member of the Church, although that’s never happened) to be the next President of the High Priesthood of the Church and thus the Church President. Usually, that’s the senior member of the Council of Twelve. By “senior member,” I mean the one who’s been serving on the Council the longest, not the oldest.

Being a former Mormon, I was under the impression that at the death of the prophet the Quorum of the 12 Apostles met to pray, fast, meditate, etc on who the next prophet would be. It usually turns out to be the last prophet’s 1st counselor.

I could be wrong, it’s been a long time since I was an active member of the Church.

Depending on your definition of miracles or visions, maybe yes. Mormonism is full of unsubstantiated folklore. Mormons do their fair share of healings, but whether those healings come from the power of the sick person, or from spontaneous remission which happens without prayer as often as not, or from direct priesthood authority from God, is a matter of debate.

Joseph Smith claimed many visions, of course, as did the other early polygamous prophets. Visions have been on the wane since the church renounced polygamy.

To my knowledge, the current prophet has never claimed a vision or a prophecy.

By default, the new president is the senior member of the Apostles, including the counselors in the First Presidency. This would mean that, barring any other deaths or changes, when President Hinckley dies, Thomas S. Monson would be the new president of the church. (And a fine president I believe he would be!)

However, the Apostles do have the authority, as Monty and jack@ss have mentioned, to choose someone else, by consensus. Upon death of the president, however, the senior member immediately presides until he or another is sustained and ordained.

Each president of the church is a prophet, seer, and revelator. He alone has authority to receive revelation from God for the entire church, which makes him a prophet.

There have been a few variants on the answer to (1). The answer is no, and the Senior Apostle is always the next President. That was established clearly after IIRC Lorenzo Snow. I’d have to check up on that part to be sure. Here are a few cites for the order of succession (in order of the date of the statement):

[Talk by Bruce R. McConkie.]( may 1983 .htm/the keys of the kingdom .htm)
[Talk by Boyd K. Packer at President Hunter’s funeral.]( april 1995.htm/president howard w. hunter he endured to the end.htm)
[Article about the succession of President Hinckley.]( april 1995.htm/president gordon b. hinckley fifteenth president of the church.htm)

For (2), see Schadenfreude’s answer, with the addition that the Apostles are also sustatained as prophets, seers, and revelators. Only the President of the LDS church may exercise the fullness of his office.

As for (3), there are accounts of Presidents of the LDS church performing miracles, however most LDS consider any manifestation of divine power as something sacred, and don’t talk about such miracles lightly.

Monty wrote:

I thought they were the guys who made the civilization-level decisions in Battlestar Galactica.

Pretty much this post is pointless, I think that the answer to the OP has been adressed, but heres just something that I want to reiterate. (that, and I felt the need to post anyways)

I believe that the OP warned against faith bashing? Even though an outsider may consider it folklore, people who are LDS take it seriously. It is, after all, their faith. Point take, please don’t make references to a religion as such.

I wont address your comment about folklore (which im greatly inclined to do) but as to your comment, and question 3 in the OP, the LDS consider Miracles to be very sacred. The reason why you don’t see a daily publication of them, is because the church believes that if something is sacred, such as a miracle, then doing something like making a scene of it to the world would undermine its sanctity and sacred nature. Hence, why emarkp said LDS dont talk about miracles lightly.

As for modern visions? LDS believe that anyone can recieve personal revelation, but only the prophet of the church can receive revelation concerning matters dealing with the church. The reason why you saw so many earlier prophets receiving visions that were made public is because the church was in its infacy. Now, without stepping the bounds of the OP, thats the LDS reasoning behind it, you may disagree or what not, but that answers the OP.

For the subject of choosing a new president of the Church? emarkp’s post was right on the money. Just scroll up to his name, b/c im too lazy to quote two people. smirks

Want to know the REAL beliefs of the LDS church?

sorry for the poor grammar and typos up there

You’ll have to excuse me, but I thought Angela’s post was very neutral in tone, and not a bash at all. She clearly left open all options, including that of genuine LDS miracles. I wish skeptics of Christianity on this board were as kind.

For those reasons, I’d say her post does not constitute or hint at faith-bashing in any way, shape, or form.

She has not been so neutral in some of her other postings, starting with:

Heading on to

and ending with

From this thread

so I guess Pathros is just being pre-emptive…


Nevertheless, it’s appropriate to wait until she starts bashing here before criticizing her for it here. Monty has already jumped on her in the other thread; let it stay there as long as Angela behaves reasonably here.

“Want to know the REAL beliefs of the LDS church?” (Pathros_1983)

I looked hard at both places and didn’t find any of the answers above.

Thanks all. I guess I was confused by what makes one a “Profit”.

Last stupid question.

“For (2), see Schadenfreude’s answer, with the addition that the Apostles are also sustatained as prophets, seers, and revelators. Only the President of the LDS church may exercise the fullness of his office.” (emarkp).

Is this (IYO of course; I don’t see any way of it being factual) roughly the same as the Pope’s role in Catholicism?

Actually, this last sentence is right. There are a number of FPR’s (Faith-Promoting Rumors) floating around with enough variations to confuse even the hardiest investigator of Urban Legends. However, there is also a tradition of rigorous record-keeping in the LDS church. Wilford Woodruff (the fourth LDS president) recalls that when he was a young man, he heard Joseph Smith talk about the importance of keeping a record of the church, he resolved to record his day in a journal each day. He kept a journal for the rest of his life (80+ years total), not missing a day. There is an official LDS office of church historian. And there are man documented miracles and visions in the history of the LDS church, outside of the FPR’s (which I and many others call FPE’s–Faith-Promoting Experiences).

Well, I imagine this is the same issue as for any record of divine manifestation, whether in or out of the LDS church.

Cite, please, as to how revelations declined since the end of the practice of plural marriage (the church has never “renounced” the principle of polygamy).

Ah, now the troll^H^H^H^H^Htrue colors surface.

Why is there no way of it being factual? Both the Pope and the LDS President exist, and have a role in their respective organizations.

But to answer the question, I don’t know enough details about the role of the Pope to answer the question.

I don’t know what “troll” means exactly, but have read enough posts to know its not a compliment :slight_smile:

Sorry for (somewhat) promising to ask only factual questions on Presidental process, then making a (kind of) moral/religiuos questioning-type of question. But honestly, I was assuming that “prophet”…


The point of the OP really was that I thought ‘prophet’ meant god-sent messenger, like Jesus, Mohammed, etc. From the posts, I’m thinking now that it’s closer to a higher priest, one that spends more time praying and studying, so may have more insight than the average Joe. But not necessarily someone who speaks to (or is spoken thru by) God. Close?

(fyi, i would like to know what is meant by ‘troll’ though, am still trying to get some of the terminology down.)

Again, my bad before. Homophonic type.

…its “homophonous typo”, not “homophonic type” :slight_smile:

hom·o·phone (hm-fn, hm-)
One of two or more words, such as night and knight, that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning, origin, and sometimes spelling.

ho·mopho·nous (h-mf-ns) adj.

Agreed, but her neutral tone seemed borderline agitator. I tried myself to not make my post as being too abrasive to those who don’t follow the LDS beliefs, and hope that others do the same. Not to say Angela or anyone else has crossed that line, but her last post was set in a tone that she could easily bash, and although you saw her as being totally neutral, I saw it as being abrasive.

The purpose for posting those two sites, which I do in EVERY situation that LDS beliefs are brought up, is because they are official sites of the church. I know that your question would not be answered by those sites, but general doctrinal querys would be.

(I dont know how to do more than one quote in a post…) as for your question about the LDS prophet and the pope, I do not know much about the differences between the pope and the LDS president, other than I have never heard a pope claiming to have recieved relevation or to be a direct messenger of God. Of course, I could be wrong in both of those cases. Perhaps one could clarify this by stating what the pope’s duties are? or what he “does?” Then I could compare the two…

Not quite. LDS believe that the President IS a prophet. He just doesnt recieve daily revelations that concern the end of the world, or life shattering doctrines.