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Published: Sunday, 11/4/2012

Romney relative was heartbeat from presidency of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


No matter what happens Election Day, win or lose, Mitt Romney, when finished with electoral politics, may have a place in the Salt Lake City church headquarters as his first cousin once removed did.

Marion G. Romney (1897-1988), who became an apostle in 1951, was a heartbeat away from the church presidency from 1985 until his death.

It’s possible Mitt Romney could become president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But it’s not a process of campaigning.

He would have to be nominated to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by the church president, who names a person based on advice and “divine guidance.” Once appointed an apostle, Mr. Romney would have to bide his time.

The longest-serving apostle is next in line for the church presidency and, as Marion G. Romney’s service shows, men can serve decades in their lifetime appointments as apostles.

Boyd K. Packer is president of the Twelve. His being named an apostle in 1970 makes him the senior apostle and next president, should he live longer than Thomas S. Monson, who became the 16th church president in 2008.

Wherever Mr. Romney might serve, “It’s up to the Lord,” said Chris Miller, bishop of the Perrysburg congregation of Latter-day Saints. “I know that Mitt Romney would serve wherever he is called to serve. If the Lord calls him to serve in Salt Lake, he would serve there. If the Lord calls him to serve the primary in his ward [teaching young children], he would serve there.

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