Who chooses the Mormon prophet?

Official Answer

Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church. The calling and appointment of the Living Prophet is directed by Him whose Church it is.

After the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith in Carthage Illinois, Brigham Young led the Church to the Salt Lake Valley and guided its growth and expansion throughout the West. After his death, the senior Apostle, John Taylor, became the third President of the Church. After each Church President passes away, the senior Apostle becomes the next President. Since Brigham Young, the Church has been led by:

  • 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—1995–2008
  • Thomas S. Monson—2008–present

Each President of the Church selects counselors from worthy and capable men. Together, these men form the First Presidency of the Church. Along with the Twelve Apostles, they give direction to the Church.

  • The prophet of the Church is chosen through revelation from God to the apostles. When one prophet passes away, usually the senior apostle is chosen to succeed them, but that decision is affirmed through revelation and a unanimous vote by all of the apostles. This system makes it so there is no contention about who the next prophet will be. Show more

  • Our loving Heavenly Father loves us so much that he has given us a prophet here on the earth to guide us in these latter-days. Heavenly Father chooses who his messenger of guidance for us will be. I'm so grateful for a prophet today and heed his counsel to the fullest extent. Show more

  • Anciently it was done as recorded in the Book of Acts: Acts 1:24-26 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Nothing has changed. Jesus Christ chooses the next prophet and communicates it to the remaining Apostles the exact same way as before. Show more

  • the LORD... Show more

  • The short answer is, God does. Jesus Christ has been resurrected, thus He is still alive and we consider Him to be the head of our church. The prophet is His spokesman here on earth. Usually, when there's a new prophet, it's through a line of succession that's based on seniority. The oldest apostle with the most experience as an apostle becomes the new prophet upon the death of the previous prophet. The Twelve Apostles are reorganized, the new prophet is ordained by the Twelve to hold all the priesthood keys, and he prays and chooses from the Twelve two to be his counselors. There is no election or jockeying for position. There is no politics involved. We as members do not vote for who gets to be prophet. That selection is done by the Lord, and then the members may choose to accept or reject the prophet once he is chosen. How do we know if he's really, truly a prophet of the Lord? We can individually pray and receive confirmation from the Holy Ghost. I do this every time a new prophet is called, and every time I receive confirmation from the Spirit that he does indeed speak for the Lord to His Church. Show more

  • The Savior. It's not a democracy. Show more

  • The Prophet just like in times of old is called of God to serve him by teaching all of Gods children by being his voice to the church. Show more

  • Our prophet is chosen by God. We do not vote on who will be the next prophet, nor do our leaders vote or decide. Through revelation, our prophet is chosen. Since the prophet is chosen by God, we can have complete faith that what he tells us, is the Lord's will. Such as the Children of Israel could trust that Moses would lead them to the promise land, we trust that our modern day prophet will lead us back to Our Heavenly Father's presence. Show more

  • God has chosen prophets from the first humans, Adam and Eve. God has chosen prophets such as Noah, Moses, Abraham, Lehi (Book of Mormon). God is unchanging, and loves us, so it is obvious to me that God would continue to choose prophets. We need the direction in a rapidly changing world. Show more

  • When Jesus Christ first organized His church, He personally called apostles to lead the church after He left. After the Resurrection, Peter became the prophet and spokesman for Christ, who was still the true Head of the church. The same organization is in effect today, with apostles and prophets chosen by God. The First Presidency (the prophet and his counselors) and the Twelve Apostles make no decision without a unanimous vote. When new apostles are called, they have been selected through careful study and prayer on the part of each of these men. When the current prophet passes away, the next prophet will be the most senior of the apostles. God has all power and will place whomever He desires in that position. Show more

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