The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called two new apostles during the Saturday morning session of the 188th Annual General Conference. Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares were called to fill the vacancies left in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“This is a moment of great significance for members of the Church throughout the world,” President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, said during the solemn assembly.
Elder Gong has served as a General Authority Seventy since April 3, 2010. He was named a member of the Presidency of the Seventy on Oct. 6, 2015. As part of his service in the Seventy, Elder Gong was a member of the Asia Area Presidency, which is headquartered in Hong Kong.
He was born in Redwood City, California in December 1953. In January 1980, Elder Gong married Susan Lindsay. Together they have four children.
Elder Soares was called as a General Authority Seventy on April 2, 2005. On Jan. 6, 2013, Elder Soares was named a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. He served previously as a counselor in the Africa Southeast Area, President of the Brazil Area, and as a counselor in the Brazil South Area. Prior to being called as a general authority, Elder Soares was serving on a special assignment for the Presiding Bishopric of the Church in Salt Lake City.
He was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on Oct. 2, 1958. Soares and his wife Rosana Fernandes, who were married in October 1982, are the parents of three children.
The two new apostles were called to fill vacancies left by deceased Church President Thomas S. Monson, who died in January 2018, and Elder Robert D. Hales, who died in October 2017 during the previous general conference session.
The last time the Church called new members to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was on October 3, 2015. Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson and Dale G. Renlund were called at the time.