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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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New LDS leader a U alumnus

By Parker Williams

For more than a decade, the majority of the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been U alumni.

And the church appears to be maintaining its U connections.

During its 177th Semiannual General Conference, LDS prophet Gordon B. Hinckley announced that Henry B. Eyring, a U alumnus, would fill the vacancy left in the First Presidency by the death of President James E. Faust in August. Faust was also a U alumnus-Eyring’s calling means the First Presidency will continue to me made up entirely of U graduates.

Eyring’s new appointment was one of the first announcements made at the conference. Eyring, who was serving as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, left a vacancy in his position which was filled by Quentin L. Cook.

Eyring graduated from the U with a degree in physics. He later attended Harvard University where he received a master’s degree and later a doctorate degree in business administration.

“In a way, I kind of knew that it would be someone who is a little bit younger,” said Nathan Shumway, a sophomore in music and member of the LDS church. “(Eyring’s) young enough that he can be in that position for a really long time.”

Before Brigham Young University became a well-established school, the U was the school that most LDS students attended, said Shumway.

“It wasn’t surprising,” said Jared Greenup, a fellow Mormon student studying to be a nursing assistant, who had a bet with his father regarding who would fill the vacancy.

“I was thinking Elder (Robert) Hales would be called. He was thinking it would be Elder (Boyd) Packer.” Both Hales and Packer served as apostles with Eyring.

Following the announcement of Eyring’s appointment, the church officials held a press conference where both Eyring and Cook discussed their reactions to their new responsibilities.

Eyring described receiving a phone call on the Thursday preceding conference from President Hinckley asking if he would serve as second counselor in the First Presidency.

“My main feeling is gratitude,” Eyring said.

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