LDS Church saw big changes under President Monson

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - As people look back on the legacy of President Thomas Monson they will see the major changes that occurred during his time leading the church.

While some of the changes were minor, others will change how the church operates forever. Rep. Mike Winder (R-West Valley City) is a church historian, and believes some of those changes will impact the church long into the future.

"I think under President Monson's time I think one of the big changes has been the lowering of the missionary age," said Rep. Winder. "That's effected numerous families. With more young men and young women heading out heading out to serve missions."

Winder notes while the church has always seen change it hasn't always come as quickly as some would like.

"As society changes comes up with different ideas or concepts they're going to be slower to adapt to those, and be very deliberative," said Rep. Winder.

During the tenure of President Monson the church came out in support of medical marijuana which changed much of the conversation in Utah, and around the United States.

The LDS Church also supported non discrimination laws, and clarified it's stance on members of the LGBTQ community. While it may not have gone as far as some would have liked. Rep. Winder said it was still a major step.

"So balancing how to embrace people as human beings, and yet still live the commandments as they understand them was something that we saw under President Monson," said Rep Winder. "Some people may agree or disagree on how that was handled, but I don't think anyone can question the love he had for people."

Technology also saw major improvement and change much of the way the church reaches people. Social media has allowed the church to reach all corners of the globe. Rep. Winder said that's good considering the majority of members in other countries.

It also allowed the church to take a new approach to it's fundraising efforts.

"Whether it's the "Light the World Campaign" we saw in the month of December, or whether it's the and the ads and promotions going on there," said Rep. Winder. "So there is a great use of technology to further the message."

When historians look back at President Monson's legacy. Rep. Winder believes it will be his focus on individuals which stands out the most.

"He was always ministering to the one," said Rep. Winder. "On the one hand the church has swelled to nearly six million members and it's a big organization. On the other hand he hasn't forgotten the individuals."

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