The Latest: Mormon leads calls for embrace of all children

AP News
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Posted: Apr 02, 2016 5:33 PM
The Latest: Mormon leads calls for embrace of all children

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on Mormon church's two-day conference in Salt Lake City (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

A Mormon leader is telling members to be more thoughtful and sensitive toward children of all backgrounds, many of whom don't come from "picture perfect" families.

Neil L. Anderson said Saturday at a church conference in Salt Lake City that the religion has hundreds of thousands of children who live with only one parent or whose parents aren't Mormon.

Anderson, a high-ranking leader with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the religion will continue to advocate for families led by married men and women who belong to the faith. But he said the religion should embrace other children too.

Anderson didn't mention children of gay parents. The church came under fire last November when it announced new rules banning baptisms for children living with a gay or lesbian parent.

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2:55 p.m.

Five of 11 new people chosen to serve on the Mormon church's second-tier leadership council are from countries outside the United States in a reflection of the religion's international footprint.

The men come from Guatemala, Argentina, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. More than half of the religion's 15 million members live outside the United States.

Church leaders announced the new selections for the faith's Quorum of the Seventy on Saturday at a twice-a-year conference in Salt Lake City. The council serves under the church president and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also announced new leaders for a women's council that oversees religious education for children in the faith. All three women are from the United States.

More than 100,000 Mormons are expected to attend five conference sessions over two days.

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12 p.m.

A Mormon leader is calling on church members to be tolerant of others even if they practice another religion or hold a different political affiliation.

Kevin R. Duncan said during a church conference in Salt Lake City that God doesn't view people based on "color of the jersey or the political party." Duncan urged members to be graceful no matter if they win or lose in the competitions of life.

Duncan is a member of a second-tier leadership council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

His guidance comes during a presidential campaign marked by explosive rhetoric and bickering.

Church leaders don't endorse candidates or parties but sometimes weigh in on what they consider crucial moral issues.

More than 100,000 Mormons are expected to attend five conference sessions over two days, with millions more watching live broadcasts.

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11:25 a.m.

A top Mormon leader kicked off a church conference in Salt Lake City by telling members that the religion is the "only true church" and that its top leaders speak for the Lord.

Henry B. Eyring on Saturday urged church members to listen carefully to speeches from Mormon leaders during the two-day conference so they can feel closer to the Lord. Eyring is a member of a top church leadership council called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Thomas S. Monson, the 88-year-old president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is in attendance but hasn't talked yet. He is considered a prophet.

More than 100,000 Mormons are expected to attend five conference sessions over two days, with millions more watching live broadcasts from their homes.

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1 a.m.

Mormon leaders are set to deliver guidance to their worldwide membership in a series of speeches this weekend during the religion's semiannual conference in Salt Lake City.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aren't expected to mention presidential candidates by name, but they may reiterate their push for more public civility and compassion amid a campaign marked by explosive rhetoric and bickering.

The conference kicks off Saturday morning at the faith's 21,000-seat conference center. More than 100,000 Mormons will attend the five sessions over two days, with millions more watching live broadcasts of the speeches.

The church doesn't back one party or endorse candidates, but Mormon leaders sometimes weigh in on what they consider crucial moral issues.