LDS Church announces new leadership

Russell M. Nelson called to serve as President of the Church

Russell M Nelson was ordained and set apart by his fellow apostles Sunday in the Salt Lake Temple as the 17 president of the Mormon church.

President Nelson will be the second-oldest apostle in Mormon history.

The faith's presidents are considered prophets who lead the church through revelations from God in collaboration with two top counselors and members of the Quorum.

Oaks took the lead late previous year in defending the policy, telling a worldwide audience of Mormons: "Even as we must live with the marriage laws and other traditions of a declining world, those who strive for exaltation must make personal choices in family life according to the Lord's way whenever that differs from the world's way".

"It was a sacred and humbling experience", Nelson said. He added that God loves all of his children despite what he called "their challenges".

Nelson said the "Lord is in charge" of picking top church leaders and acknowledged that its highest leadership councils are not a "representative assembly".

Nelson's selection of Oaks, 85, and Henry B. Eyring, 84, as his counselors means Uchtdorf, 77, goes back to the being a regular member of the Quorum after he served as one of Monson's counselors.

They are both members of a governing body called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

But in an editorial for Religion News Service, she said: "It's unlikely that the new First Presidency's responses on questions about women, minorities, LGBT Saints [church members], and disaffiliation among young adults will be very satisfactory to Mormons who have ongoing questions about those issues".

Nelson will address church members at 9 a.m.in a live announcement (click on the link above to watch).

Born in Salt Lake City in 1924, Nelson converted to Mormonism at the age of 16. He served a two-year Army medical tour of duty during the Korean War before resuming a medical career that included being director of thoracic surgery residency at the University of Utah.

"President Nelson is a dear friend and a powerful force for good in this world".

He said the church will continue to provide resources and manpower, to provide aid in times of turmoil.

Nelson then spoke to Mormons, calling on them to "keep the covenant path".

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