he 93-year-old former heart surgeon named on Tuesday as the new president of the Mormon Church signalled his intention to make few changes in policy regarding the role of women and LGBT issues — two topics that the faith has grappled with in recent years.
Russell M Nelson’s remarks to reporters after he was officially chosen to become the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed an expectation that he will likely uphold traditional church teachings. Speaking about his approach to LGBT issues, Nelson said he understands there are “challenges with the commandments of God, challenges to be worthy”. “God loves his children and we love them and there’s a place for everyone,” Nelson said. “Regardless of his challenges.”
Nelson succeeds Thomas S Monson, who died January 2 after leading the religion for nearly a decade. Church presidents serve until they die.