Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s release from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seems to be getting much of the focus of conversation from members and non-members.
Since yesterday’s announcement that Russel M. Nelson, Dallin Oaks and Henry Eyring are now the top leaders of the worldwide faith, attention remains on the much-loved Uchtdorf. On KUER’s Radio West Wednesday morning, LDS scholar Joanna Brooks of San Diego State University said with Uchtdorf, there was hope for those in the margins of the faith.
"Hope took a major blow at losing Dieter Uchtdorf, says Brooks. "His voice calmed and assured us that we could walk through what felt like massive contradictions our own theology and policy.”
Brooks said the shake-up shows a clear shift toward a more traditional church by Nelson.
"It’s just sort of an indifference to context. And we are in a time when change and changing context will matter tremendously to the spiritual lives to rank and file people.”
But Brooks conceded that faiths that are liberalizing continue to lose members.
NOTE: The headline and one word in the text were changed from the original posting, which used the word "demotion," to more accurately reflect the reassignments in the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.