Former heart surgeon named president of the LDS Church

Former heart surgeon named president of the LDS 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.

He urged church members to "keep on the covenant path", emphasizing the importance of the temple in the lives of church members.

The wait has less to do with who will be the prophet and more to do with who he, in this case Nelson, choosing to be at his right and left hand side.

I have watched him lead by example over many decades of dedicated service, and I am confident that he will continue to touch the hearts of millions as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Former LDS Church president Thomas S. Monson passed away January 2 at age 90 after more than six decades of service to the LDS Church. He added that God loves all of his children despite what he called "their challenges".

He is the first physician to lead the LDS church.

He married Dantzel White in 1945 and they were together until she died on February 12, 2005.

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"Both Oaks and Nelson have been prominent voices defending the church's position on issues of gender and sexuality; much more so than Uchtdorf and Monson", he said. Nelson is the second-oldest man to assume leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"It was a sacred and humbling experience", Nelson said.

Jana Riess, a religion professor at Miami University in OH, said Nelson's more outgoing style is likely to be a refreshing change from the reserved face Monson put on the church's leadership.

President Dallin H. Oaks has served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since May 1984. He said, he wakes up each morning eager for the adventures of the day.

The replacement of Oaks generated some buzz and debate in Mormon circles Tuesday, though Matt Bowman - a Mormon and history professor at Henderson State University - noted that the church is governed through "unanimity and consensus" among top leadership.

The new leadership of the church will consist of a First Presidency made up of a president and two counselors.

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