Due to the passing of President/Prophet Frederick Niels Larsen on April 26, 2019, the leadership of the church was presented with the task of identifying a successor called to lead the church. A joint council consisting of the Quorum of Twelve, the Quorum of Seventy, and the Standing High Council was convened on May 11, 2019, with a second session on May 16, 2019, to seek guidance from the Lord, discuss any information that was available, to seek guidance from the Scriptures, and to seek guidance from “The Letter of Instruction” written by Joseph Smith III. With the death of President Larsen, there was only one member left in the First Presidency. Therefore, the Standing High Council took the place of the First Presidency. During the meeting a document was presented to the joint council, which had been dictated by President Frederick N. Larsen on March 28, 2019, to Presiding Bishop W. Kevin Romer and later written down by Presiding Patriarch Carl VunCannon, Jr., with directions for some changes in the church leadership to take place at a fall conference (which had been redacted on the copy reviewed), and a second part designating who should succeed President Larsen in the event of his demise. On March 29th, President Larsen confirmed on video that the words written on the document were as he wanted them. The document was signed and witnessed. The video was acknowledged but not shown to the joint council. After much prayer and fasting, the joint council agreed that the name of Terry W. Patience was designated by President Larsen to be his successor as the prophet, president, seer, and revelator for the church.
That determination was presented to a special conference held from June 28 through June 30, 2019. A business session was convened on Saturday morning, June 29th, to discuss and to confirm by conference action that Brother Patience would be the successor.
Just prior to President Larsen being taken to the hospital during the 3rd week in March, his choice as to whom the Lord wanted as the successor was shared by President Larsen to his wife. She testified of that event during the special conference of June 29th.
As the document also gave instruction as to a counselor to the successor, it is noted here that High Priest Vun Cannon was asked to fulfill that role, but he declined.
The words from that document pertaining to the successor to President Larsen are:
1. In the event of my incapacity or death, High Priest Terry W. Patience should succeed me as President, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. High Priest James Vun Cannon should continue to serve as counselor to the President of the Church much as F. Henry Edwards served for many years.
Presented by President Frederick N. Larsen
President of the Church
Independence, Missouri, March 28-29, 2019