Mormon president makes big changes in busy first year

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has generated buzz in his first year by becoming one of the most visible, active and decisive presidents in modern church history.

Russell M. Nelson also has implemented a number of big changes, including repealing rules Thursday that had banned baptisms for children of gay parents.

The 94-year-old has called on people to stop using the shorthand names “Mormon” and “LDS” and changed rules to allow missionaries to speak with their families more often.

Scholars say Nelson’s uncommon openness about the church’s belief that presidents are living prophets who receive revelations from God also has set him apart from most of his predecessors.

Members are bracing for more changes at a church conference Saturday in Salt Lake City.

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