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Utah's annual LDS conference returns to in-person after pandemic, church set to confirm first Black female leader

Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met this weekend for their annual conference to address COVID-19, the church’s support of non-discrimination laws, Russia’s war in Ukraine and legacies of racism.

It was the church’s first in-person conference since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The nearly 17 million-member faith, hosted about 13,000 people at its Salt Lake City conference center.

The church has backed anti-discrimination laws in Arizona and Utah and over the past decade softened its stances toward LGBTQ+ members of the faith and their families. However, it remains opposed to same-sex marriage on theological grounds.

Church officials announced a series of leadership changes Saturday, including the addition of Tracy Y. When she takes her post in August, she’ll become the first Black woman to serve on an all-women leadership panel focused on families and children.

Women cannot serve in the priesthood or top leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though some have pushed to expand women’s roles in leadership.