Published: Oct. 6, 2007 10:12 a.m. MDT
He fills the vacancy left by the death of President James E. Faust, who died Aug. 10 at the age of 87 after serving as a general authority for 35 years.
In choosing now-President Eyring, LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley selected "an accomplished educator" to be a member of the highest governing body of the church, according to a press release. The first counselor in the First Presidency is President Thomas S. Monson, who has served as an apostle for 44 years.
President Eyring, formerly a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, was announced this morning at the first of five conference sessions. His position in the Twelve will be taken by Quentin L. Cook, described in the release as "an experienced church leader with a strong pastoral, administrative and legal background."
According to the release, President Eyring has twice served as Church Commissioner of Education and in several councils of the church before becoming an apostle in 1995. He holds a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Utah and master of business administration and doctor of business administration degrees from Harvard University.
The new apostle, Elder Quentin L. Cook, has been overseeing the church's worldwide missionary program, responsible directly to the Quorum of the Twelve, according to the release. While in that position, he was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Elder Cook also has provided leadership for the church in the Philippines, throughout the Pacific and in the northwestern United States.
President Eyring and Elder Cook will address a short news conference between the two Saturday sessions of General Conference.
President Faust had served as second counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley since 1995. He was remembered as a man of wisdom, love and integrity who managed to make both his family and his church the top priorities in his life.
During this morning's session, President Hinckley called President Faust "an extremely able man, a man of great faith and capacity, who contributed much to our meetings."
President Faust was last seen in public at a Pioneer Day commemorative concert in the Conference Center on July 20, and before that at the June dedication ceremonies for the new Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center at Brigham Young University.
Known as a consummate church leader and political thinker, his leadership and vision quietly helped forward a variety of LDS Church initiatives, including opposition in the 1980s to pari-mutuel betting in Utah; construction of the BYU Jerusalem Center; improved public relations and media interface; relationships with Chinese officials; and instigation of the LDS Church's now-familiar logo emphasizing Jesus Christ.