Mormon church appoints new leader to top post

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church has a new top-ranking leader to replace the late Boyd K. Packer, who was next in line to become president and prophet of the faith.

The Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Wednesday afternoon that Russell M. Nelson will serve as the president of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, its high-level governing body.

Mormon President Thomas S. Monson appointed Nelson to the post.

Nelson has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1984.

He replaces Packer, who died July 3 at his Salt Lake City home of natural causes. He was 90.

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