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Brigham Young University

New Asian-American, Brazilian apostles make Mormon history

The Mormon church made history and injected a bit of diversity into a previously all-white top leadership panel on Saturday by selecting the first-ever Latin-American apostle and the first-ever apostle of Asian ancestry.

The selections of Ulisses Soares of Brazil and Gerrit W. Gong, a Chinese-American, were announced during a twice-annual conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. The choices triggered excitement among a contingent of Mormons who for years have been hoping for the faith's top leadership to be more representative of a religion that has more than half of the its 16 million members outside the United States.

"It's a...

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