Members of the First Presidency are Apostles of Jesus Christ. Along with the other Apostles, they are special witnesses of Jesus Christ, called to teach and testify of Him throughout the world. They travel frequently, addressing and encouraging large congregations of Church members and others, as well as meeting with Church leaders. They seek direction from Jesus Christ as they oversee matters that affect the millions of Church members all over the world. These matters include missionary work, humanitarian aid, temple service, gospel instruction, and much more.
The President of the Church is always the senior Apostle—the person who has served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the longest time. When a Church President dies, the next senior Apostle becomes the President of the Church and chooses counselors to serve with him in the First Presidency. While all members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are sustained as “prophets, seers, and revelators,” the term “the prophet” refers to the President of the Church.
Through the inspired messages of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Lord gives instruction to His Church, including guidance that helps members with the challenges they experience in life.
The First Presidency was originally organized by Joseph Smith, the Church’s first prophet.