Prophets who served as counselors in the First Presidency before serving as President of the Church
Of the seventeen brethren who have served as Presidents of the Church, only seven have served as counselors in the First Presidency before being ordained as the President of the Church. These seven are as follows:
Prophet Served as counselor to whom When set apart Lorenzo Snow Counselor to President Brigham Young 08 Apr 1873 Assistant Counselor to Brigham Young 09 May 1874 Joseph F Smith Counselor to the 1st Presidency (B Young) 01 Jul 1866 2nd Counselor to John Taylor 10 Oct 1880 2nd Counselor to Wilford Woodruff 07 Apr 1889 2nd Counselor to Lorenzo Snow 13 Sep 1898 1st Counselor to Lorenzo Snow 06 Oct 1901 David O McKay 2nd Counselor to Heber J Grant 06 Oct 1934 2nd Counselor to George Albert Smith 21 May 1945 Joseph Fielding Smith Counselor in the First Presidency 29 Oct 1965 Harold B Lee 1st Counselor to Joseph Fielding Smith 23 Jan 1970 Gordon B Hinckley Counselor to Spencer W Kimball 23 Jul 1981 2nd Counselor to Spencer W Kimball 02 Dec 1982 1st Counselor to Ezra Taft Benson 10 Nov 1985 1st Counselor to Howard W Hunter 05 Jun 1994 Thomas S Monson 2nd Counselor to Ezra Taft Benson 10 Nov 1985 2nd Counselor to Howard W Hunter 05 Jun 1994 1st Counselor to Gordon B Hinckley 12 Mar 1995
Note: Those prophets who did not serve as counselors in the First Presidency before serving as President of the Church are Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Heber J Grant, George Albert Smith, Spencer W Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter, and Russell M. Nelson.
Note: The presidencies of President Ezra Taft Benson and President Howard W. Hunter are unique among all other First Presidencies. In these two presidencies, both of the counselors in the presidencies went on to serve as presidents of the Church (President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson).