Leader of locally-founded Church of Latter Day Saints dies

Leader of locally-founded Church of Latter Day Saints dies

Monson died on Tuesday evening surrounded by his family, the church said in a statement on its website.

Although his Church callings and responsibilities over the years have often taken him on the road for weeks at a time, President Monson made it to every funeral of "his widows", and spoke as he had promised them he would.

In a worldwide church where leadership at the level of president and apostle is essentially a life-long appointment, this isn't a novel event to most members.

The 90-year-old died at his home in Salt Lake City Tuesday night, according to church officials. "His life was a sermon of service". Children of same-sex couples can not be baptized until they turn 18 - and then, only if they denounce their parents' marriage.

Russell M. Nelson was called as a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles on April 7, 1984.

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In 2012, the church also faced numerous questions amid prominent Mormon Mitt Romney's presidential run. Monson also called for introspection over some of the darker areas of Mormonism's past including polygamy, which the church ended in 1890, and institutional racism, which barred African Americans from the priesthood and in the earliest days of the religion was used to justify slavery. He lowered the qualifying age of missionaries for both men and women, sparking an increase in the number of missionary members.

In addition, several AJC regional delegations visited with key LDS figures in Salt Lake City, and AJC has initiated LDS-Jewish dialogues in multiple cities across the United States.

The LDS church, which started in 1830 in New York State, reported a year ago to have almost 16 million members worldwide, with more than half outside the United States. We have lost a dedicated partner to the Capital City and he will be missed.

House speaker Greg Hughes also expressed his condolences Wednesday. He is said to have passed peacefully of old age.

Following a backlash, the church scaled back its efforts to oppose same-sex marriage rights, and threw its support behind legislation in Utah that combined anti-discrimination provisions for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people with protections for religious groups that oppose homosexuality. He truly understood that when you are in the service of your fellow man you are in the service of God. Following that appearance where he delivered two short sermons, Monson was admitted to a hospital complaining of fatigue and exhaustion. This past fall he was too sick to attend any sessions of the church's General Conference.