Woman leads closing prayer at Mormon conference

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- For the first time in the event's 183-year history, a woman has led a prayer at the semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jean A. Stevens led the morning session's closing prayer Saturday for the more than 100,000 church members gathered in Salt Lake City for the two-day general conference, and the millions more watching via satellite, radio or Internet broadcast.

Stevens holds various church roles and is member of a three-person board that advises and assists parents on teaching their children about the faith.

A feminist group launched a campaign earlier this year asking Mormon leaders to let women lead the opening and closing prayer at the conference as a symbol of gender equality.

Women hold leadership positions in the church but aren't allowed to be bishops or presidents of Mormon stakes, which are geographic areas similar to Catholic dioceses.

The conference takes place all day Saturday and continues Sunday.