Thomas S. Monson presided over growing LDS Church in era of social change

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 20:41:58-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- President Thomas S. Monson presided over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a time of rapid social change and dramatic growth in the LDS Church.

During his tenure, the church membership grew by more than 11 percent from 14.1 million to 15.9 million members.

In 2010, the LDS Church had 52,000 missionaries in the field. In 2017, they have 71,000—and that's after the initial boom in missionary numbers following the change in missionary age from 19 to 18 for men, and from 21 to 19 for women.

During that growth, the LDS Church did not change its position on gay rights as laws and public opinion changed dramatically, but the LDS Church did temper its approach to the LGBT community.

In 2008, the LDS church supported California's ballot Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the nation's most populous state. Two years later, the LDS Church supported a housing and employment anti-discrimination ordinance in Salt Lake City.

From 2007 to 2014, the Pew Center on Religion and Public Life's Religion in America survey showed the percentage of Mormons believing homosexuality should be accepted rose from 24 to 36 percent.

On immigration, the LDS Church took a position running contrary to many political conservatives, saying that laws should allow illegal immigrants a path to legalization, saying, "The bedrock moral issue for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is how we treat each other as children of God."