Elder Russell M. Nelson was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 7, 1984.
An internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher, Dr. Nelson received his BA and MD degrees from the University of Utah. Honorary scholastic societies include Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He served his residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and at the University of Minnesota, where he was awarded his PhD degree in 1954. He also received honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from Brigham Young University in 1970, Doctor of Medical Science from Utah State University in 1989, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Snow College in 1994.
Elder Nelson has held numerous positions of responsibility in the Church. He served as stake president of the Bonneville Stake. He was then called as general president of the Sunday School. Prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, he was serving as a regional representative assigned to the Kearns Utah Region. He had previously served as regional representative for Brigham Young University.
He and his wife, the former Dantzel White, have ten children. Sister Nelson passed away in February 2005. In April 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson.