Before being called to their positions amongst the General Authorities, these brethren worked honorable, yet ordinary professions, and contributed greatly in the communities in which they lived. When being called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy and in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the brethren are asked to leave their respected positions and devote 100% of their time and effort to the Church. Listed here are today’s 15 Apostles and their previous professional position before they were called into the Church’s General Body of Leadership:
While attending the University of Minnesota, Nelson began working with a team of doctors who created the first heart-lung machine which purpose was used to perform open-heart surgery. Four years later, Nelson performed the first successfu open-heart surgery ever in Utah. Nelson served a two year term of medical duty in the United States Army during the Korean War. Following this, he served his residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Nelson became involved with administrative aspects of medicine and was elected President of the Utah State Medical Association. He was Chair of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at LDS Hospital from 1967 to 1974 and Director of the University of Utah Affiliated Hospital residency program in thoracic surgery from 1967 to 1984. He was also honored nationally by being elected President of the Society for Vascular Surgery and a Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
Oaks was also a Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, the same school where he received his Law Degree. Oaks also served as interim dean. Oaks would also serve five years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from 1979 until his call as an Apostle in 1984.
Note: While in high school, Oaks played football and became a certified radio engineer. He then attended BYU, where he occasionally served as a radio announcer at high school basketball games.
Ballard was involved in several additional enterprises including real estate and investment businesses. He was Chairman of the Valley Music Hall in Bountiful, Utah which offered high-quality family. There he would work with Hollywood celebrities who were advisers to the enterprise.
Holland’s career started off as an Institute of Religion teacher then served as an Institute Director. He was then appointed Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. He went from that position to being appointed as Commissioner of the Church Educational System. Following his time as Commissioner, he was appointed president of BYU, succeeding Dallin H. Oaks.
Note: Holland played basketball at Dixie College upon returning home from his mission. He was voted as c0-captain.
Eyring’s embark on a career in academics since his graduation from the Harvard Business School. He worked as an associate business professor at the Standford Graduate School of Business and also as a Sloan Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He served as President of Ricks College and as the Commissioner of the Church Educational System.
Uchtdorf earned both his fighter pilot wings for the West German Air Force and the United States Air Force, before joing Lufthansa Airlines as a pilot. He reached the rank of Captain with Lufthansa and was appointed as head of Lufthansa’s new Arizona Flight Traning School. In 1980, he was made head chief pilot of cockpit crews, followed by appointment as senior vice president of flight operations in 1982, at which postiion he fulfilled until his call as a General Authority.
Bednar began his career in education as assistant professor of management in the respected business schools of University of Arkansas then Texas Tech Univeristy. He became the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Arkansas before five years later becoming the president of Ricks College. There he lead the instrumental change of turning Ricks College into a four year university known today as BYU-Idaho.
Cook worked for 27 years as a corporate attorney, becoming managing partner of Carr, McClellan, Ingersoll, Thompson and Horn in the San Fransisco Bay area. Later in his career, he served as President and CEO of California Healthcare System. He also volunteered for 14 years as a city attorney.
In addition to practicing law in Washington DC, Tennessee, and North Carolina, Christofferson was an associate general counsel for NationsBank (now Bank of America).
During his professional career, Andersen worked in business and became Vice President of Morton Plant Health System. Later Andersen would own his own advertising agency.
During his professional career, Rasband worked in business and became President and Chief Operating Officer for the Huntsman Chemical Corporation, headquartered in Logan, Utah.
During his professional career, Stevenson worked in business and became Chief Operating Officer for ICON Health & Fitness, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Renlund began his professional career as a practicing cardiologist for six years before he began teaching at the University of Utah for five years. The next 18 years of his professional career were spent as Medical Director at the Utah Transplantations Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant Program.
Gerrit W. Gong: Politics, Professor
During his professional career, Gong was a professor at various times at Georgetown University and John Hopkins University. He later served in the United States State Department, as well as the United States Embassy in China and the United States Department of Education committee.
Ulisses Soares: LDS Church Employee, Senior Auditor
Soares was employed by the Church during most of his professioal career. He became the Director of Temporal Affairs for the Church’s Brazil South Area and worked as a Senior Auditor for the Church.