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Former heart surgeon set to become next LDS Church president

The man set to become the next Mormon church president is a 93-year-old former heart surgeon whose conservative track record on the religion’s leadership panel has led Mormon scholars to predict he won’t make any major changes.

Russell M. Nelson is likely to be formally named to the post in the coming days under longstanding church protocol designed to ensure a smooth handover by giving the post to the longest-tenured member of the governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Nelson has been on the panel for three decades and would become the second-oldest person to be named president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Thomas S. Monson died Tuesday night at his home in Salt Lake City after leading the church for nearly a decade. He was 90.

The new president will be formally appointed during a private meeting of the apostles.

Funeral services for President Thomas S. Monson will be held in the Conference Center on Temple Square at Noon Friday, January 12.

The funeral will be open to the public ages 8 and older. A public viewing open to all ages will take place Thursday, January 11, from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center.

President and Sister Monson wave to the congregation following a session of general conference in April 2010.

Those who attend the funeral services at the Conference Center (which seats 21,000 people) must be in their seats no later than 11:30 a.m. Seating is open and on a first-come, first-served basis. Overflow seating with large-screen viewing of the proceedings will be offered in the adjacent Tabernacle, Assembly Hall and Conference Center Theater.

The funeral services will be broadcast live via MormonNewsroom.org, LDS.org (English, Spanish, and Portuguese), KSL TV, the KSL TV app, BYUtv, BYUtv Global, KBYUtv Eleven, BYUtv International, Mormon Channel, Canal Mormón (Spanish) and on the Church satellite system. In addition, audio broadcasts will air on KSL Radio and BYU Radio.

A private burial service will take place at the Salt Lake City Cemetery following the funeral.

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