LDS General Conference - Sunday sessions 38

President Russell M. Nelson and his wife Wendy wave to the audience as they leave the afternoon session of the 189th Annual General Conference held April 7, 2019, at the Church's Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will celebrate president Russell M. Nelson's 95th birthday with a gala in Salt Lake City.

The Friday night event at the church conference center will include performances by Donny Osmond, Nathan Pacheco and the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. A church news release says the event will focus on Nelson's lifelong service to the Utah-based faith.

Nelson has been a transformative president since he took over in January 2018. Earlier this year, he rescinded rules that banned baptisms for children of gay parents and branded same-sex couples apostates subject to excommunication.

He also launched a campaign calling on people to stop using the shorthand names "Mormon" and "LDS."

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