Shortly after 4 o'clock this afternoon, I learned of a call for me which must mark a great change in my work. This is no less than a call to the Holy Apostleship. Action was taken at this day's council meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve, whereby Apostle Cha[rle]s. W. Penrose was sustained as Second Counselor in the First Presidency to succeed the late President John Henry Smith. ... The selection creates a present vacancy in the Council or Quorum of the Twelve and to this exalted and special office I am called. The announcement of my having been chosen came as a wholly un-heralded action. I was with President Joseph F. Smith until a late hour yesterday, but by no word, act or intimation was such action suggested to my mind. ... Apostle Anthony W. Ivins, called upon me about 4 p.m. on a matter of business and there told me with evidences of affection and emotion of the action taken by the Council. He testified to me that the call was from the Lord. Even at this time the announcement had been printed in the Deseret News, and within a few minutes I had many calls by phone from brethren who assured me of their support. May the Lord grant me His, and enable me to be a true witness of Him.... I have looked upon myself as a lay member in the Church though I know that a patriarch Jesse Martin of Provo [Utah] gave me to understand that, and I would be called and ordained one of the Twelve Apostles.
[James E. Talmage, Diary, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]