Nelson Named 17th Church President

Nelson Named 17th Church President

Tuesday's announcement came two days after Nelson was anointed during a private meeting of the in the Salt Lake City temple, per church tradition that makes the longest-tenured member of the Quorum the new president.

The new president of the Mormon church says there's room in the religion for everyone no matter what challenges they face and regardless if they've never joined or strayed from the faith.

In his address Tuesday, Nelson said he was humbled to be following in Monson's footsteps, whom he described as "a giant of a man, a prophet of God". When the president of the church dies, The First Presidency dissolves into The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second highest governing body in the church.

President Nelson, 93, succeeds President Thomas S. Monson, who passed away January 2, 2018.

"This is a great time is history of the church", Eyring said next. "I know his love of the people and I know of his wisdom".

"I declare my devotion to God, our Eternal Father, and to His Son, Jesus Christ".

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the world are invited to participate in a live message from President Russell M. Nelson on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 9 a.m.

As if to reinforce the point, Nelson appointed Dallin H. Oaks, 85, a member of the Quorum of the Twleve Apostles, as his first counselor on the First Presidency. He took the post following a longstanding succession plan that aims to keep the faith on course with a minimum of upheaval.

Speaking about his approach to LGBT issues, Nelson said he understands there are "challenges with the commandments of God, challenges to be worthy". "We need their voices, we need their input and we love their participation", Nelson said.

Carol Lynn Pearson, a fourth-generation Mormon who is a prominent poet and advocate for women's and LGBTQ issues, said on the Religious Feminism podcast that the church as a whole appears to be moving toward "accepting our LGBTQ couples who choose to be in a loving relationship". "But I have hope that he will find a way to respond".