Nelson is facing a crisis for Mormonism and, at 93, he knows he does not have a lot of time to leave a lasting impact.
LGBTQ activist Fred Karger has continually challenged the LDS Church since the days of California’s Prop 8, criticizing its contributions toward the ballot proposal and questioning the Utah-based faith’s tax status. Karger is now urging President Nelson to make sweeping changes to Mormonism.
“The time for change is now,” Karger writes in an April 23 op-ed for The SaltLake Tribune. “It’s up to Nelson to decide whether he will continue to lead a wave of change or whether he will fight the current and keep the church stuck in its old ways. We hope that he will be remembered as the “prophet of change” and bring the Mormon church into the 21st century.”
Karger added that the decline of the church’s membership is due to its stance on homosexuality within its confines.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported its slowest growth in over 80 years. Young people are leaving in droves. A recent survey reported that the No. 1 reason American millennials are leaving the church is the way that it treats its LGBTQ members, with tens of thousands of Mormons resigning from the church as a result.”
He also pointed to the reforms unveiled in the recent General Conference in urging the new LDS leader to undertake even bolder moves, including the elimination of the church’s controversial policy on LDS gay couples.
For the full commentary click here: Salt Lake Tribune op-ed.