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.