President Thomas S. Monson became the 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008, at the age of 80. He was ordained an Apostle in 1963.
President Henry B. Eyring was named First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 3 February 2008. Previously, he had served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency to President Gordon B. Hinckley since 6 October 2007. He was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 1 April 1995, having previously served as a member of the Seventy since 3 October 1992.
Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf Second Counselor in the first presidentcy of the church and is the eleventh most senior apostle in the ranks of the Church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church or, colloquially, the Mormon Church) is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement, a Christian primitives movement that was started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations (called wards or branches) and built temples worldwide. With over 50,000 missionaries serving worldwide at any given time, the church currently claims a growing membership of over 14.1 million and is ranked by the National Council of Churches as the fourth largest Christian denomination in the United States. The church's predominant theology is Mormonism.
The LDS Church considers itself to be a restoration of the church founded by Jesus Christ, which was later lost in the centuries after Christ in a Great Apostasy. Adherents, referred to as Latter-day Saints or, more informally, Mormons, view faith in Jesus Christ and the atonement as the central tenet of their religion. LDS theology includes the Christian doctrine of salvation only through Jesus Christ, though LDS doctrines regarding the nature of God and the potential of mankind differ significantly from mainstream Christianity. The church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts: the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation dictated by Joseph Smith and includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, and other works believed to be written by ancient prophets.
Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus, under the direction of Heavenly Father, leads the church by revealing his will to its president, whom adherents regard as a modern-day "prophet, seer, and revelator". The current president is Thomas S. Monson. Individual members believe that they can also receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives. The president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations. Bishops, drawn from the laity, lead local congregations. Worthy male members, after reaching age 12, may be ordained to the priesthood. Women do not hold positions within the priesthood but serve in an array of other leadership roles