SALT LAKE CITY - For the first time in the event's 183-year history, a woman has led prayer at the semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Jean Stevens led the morning session's closing prayer Saturday for the more than 100,000 Mormons gathered in Salt Lake City for the two-day general conference, and the millions more watching via satellite, radio or Internet broadcast.
Among other church roles, Stevens is member of a three-person board that advises and assists parents on teaching their children about the faith, which has more than 14 million members worldwide.
A feminist group launched a campaign earlier this year asking church leaders to let women lead the opening and closing prayer.
Women hold leadership positions in the Mormon church but aren't allowed to be bishops or presidents of stakes, which are geographic areas similar to Catholic dioceses. At past conferences, women have regularly given speeches and could pray in the audience.
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