Two weeks after the death of leader Thomas S. Monson, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a new president.
93-year old Russell M. Nelson will take the helm as the 17th president of the Church, LDS leaders announced via live broadcast Tuesday. Nelson’s “setting apart” was no surprise—the LDS Church operates according to a fairly predictable hierarchy, and as first counselor to President Monson, Nelson was expected to take his place.
A mid-level Mormon church official was removed from his post and excommunicated from the church Tuesday—the first excommunication of an LDS leader in almost three decades.
59-year-old James J. Hamula had served as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy—a body of leadership just below the church’s First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles—since 2008. This body of top officials, together called General Authorities, are the only leaders that work for the church full-time, leaving behind their former careers. Hamula had previously worked as a lawyer.
Last week, Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wrote an op-ed in Utah’s Deseret News in an endeavor to woo an unlikely target: Mormons.
In most election years, Democratic presidential candidates do not expend much effort campaigning for the Mormon vote. Consistently right-leaning voters, nearly 80 percent of the self-identified Mormons voted for Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.
Last week, 1500 Mormons gathered to publicly submit their resignations from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). After Church authorities distributed new guidelines regarding same-sex parents and their children, many LGBT Mormons and allies are choosing to officially remove their names from the Church registry—the most definitive way to separate oneself from the LDS Church.
In early November, the LDS Church distributed new guidelines to its 30,000 congregations hardening its position against same-sex couples and parents in the church. While the Church does not...