New First Presidency Addresses Church Growth, LGBTQ Issues, Role of Women at Press Conference

He is all set to continue the status quo

The newly minted 93-year-old First President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson, along with his counselors, Henry B. Eyring and Dallin H. Oaks, both holder of presidential posts, parried questions from local and national media . Reporters from various global media houses were also present. The venue of the conference was Church Office Building foyer. The backdrop of the room was a huge Jesus Christ and His Apostles mural. The mix of questions covered a wide swathe of topics about the various opportunities and challenges faced by the present LDS church.

The press asked a number of questions about issues linked with LGBT community and the LDS Church. Nelson, in his answers, told the media that God truly loves his children, and the LDS Church members love them too. He reminded the audience that the LDS Church has a place for everyone who wishes to be with them. Oaks said that God provides commandments for love, further adding that balance is maintained by love of the Lord and law of the Lord.

Questions invariably turned to the issue of women. One reporter questioned the First Presidency members about the equality of genders. Nelson said the LDS requires not only women's participation but also depends on them. He added that women must play a positive role in the LDS.

The three also faced queries about diversity, with reporters bringing up Monson and lowering sister missionaries' age from the earlier 21 years to 19 years. These included women leaders present in the church's priesthood councils. The same reporter asked a few questions concerning the monoculture in the church leadership, pointing out that the top echelons are made of exclusively white Americans.

Nelson answered the question with the dexterity of long practice. He said that the church members present in the venue are American and white. The First Presidency member pointed out that local churches have their leaders appointed from local communities. He said that those are the real leaders. The representative assembly is not made from Twelve and Seventy. When it comes to the top leadership positions, it is impossible to fill the apex positions with representations from the 188 countries where the church is present. It means that a few are going to be excluded. Nelson said that this does not matter, as the Lord continues to be in charge.

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