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ANNVER - My friend asked since everyone knows who the next prophet will be it cannot be a call from God. He said Mormons preach a
call comes from God through prayer and fasting but Elder Nelson became prophet by a organised sytem of seniority. He
continued to say if Elder Nelson passed away tomorrow, everyone knows next prophet in line is Elder Oaks therefore,
how can that be divinely appointed by God without prayer and Fast and without being so obvious.
JOEL - A lot of fasting and prayer is done before calling a person to first be an Apostle. When a future president of the church is first made an Apostle, because he has already been called of God to be an Apostle, the moment he is ordained, he is already considered to be called of God to become the future President of the church. It is just a matter of time before he actually fills the position.
Also, before the new president is set apart as the president, the Apostles do fast and pray before deciding to go ahead with setting apart a certain Apostle, just in case there might be a reason for not doing it, although I can't imagine what the reason would be.
Here is how it is done as explained on the church website:
"The senior apostle presides at a meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve to consider two alternative propositions:
i. Should the First Presidency be reorganized at this time?
ii. Should the Church continue to function with the Quorum of the Twelve presiding?
After discussion, a formal motion is made and accepted by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
If a motion to reorganize the First Presidency is passed, the Quorum of the Twelve unanimously selects the new president of the Church. The new president chooses two counselors and the three of them become the new First Presidency. Throughout the history of the Church, the longest-serving apostle has always become the president of the Church when the First Presidency has been reorganized." (Succession in the Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
So there is a chance they might not even decide to set apart a new presidency at that time but could just continue with the Quorum of Twelve presiding until a better time to set apart a new president. But the bottom line is that the moment a man was made an Apostle he can already be considered called of God to be the future president of the church.