Brigham Young was ordained an Apostle on February 14, 1835, in Kirtland, Ohio. Brigham Young was sustained as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 14, 1840. Then, in the spring of 1844, Joseph conveyed to the Twelve the responsibility to carry the work forward, reaffirming that the keys and authority would remain with them after his death. With the dissolution of the First Presidency at the death of the Prophet Joseph, Brigham Young became the presiding high priest of the Church. The First Presidency was reorganized on December 5 and sustained by the body of the Church on December 27, 1847.
At a Church conference held August 8, 1844, Brigham Young addressed the Saints on succession in Church leadership. Many accounts tell that Brigham's voice and appearance became like Joseph's. One example comes from a close friend of the Prophet Joseph, Benjamin F. Johnson. "I jumped upon my feet," he wrote of this experience, "for in every possible degree it was Joseph's voice, and his person, in look, attitude, dress and appearance was Joseph himself, personified; and I knew in a moment the spirit and mantle of Joseph was upon [Brigham Young]" (My Life's Review , 104).
President Gordon B. Hinckley is the fifteenth President of the Church. Those who followed Joseph, in order, are Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter, and Gordon B. Hinckley.