Salt Lake City — The president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints named a new high-ranking church official at the 177th gathering of faithful Mormons on Saturday.
President Gordon B. Hinckley appointed Elder Henry B. Eyring as the second counselor in the church's First Presidency. Eyring replaces James E. Faust, who died Aug. 10 of age-related causes and was remembered at the gathering Saturday.
"He was an extremely able man, a man of great faith and capacity who contributed much to our meetings," said Hinckley, who counted Faust among his closest and oldest friends. "We greatly miss him."
Eyring previously served 12 years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the church's second-tier of leadership.
The First Presidency shapes the policies and direction of the church. Eyring and first counselor Thomas S. Monson serve as Hinckley's closest advisers and help him arrive at decisions to guide the faith.
"I think it's an opportunity to serve the people I love," Eyring said. "President Hinckley is always saying 'things are going to work out,' and I have that faith, as well."
A native of Princeton, N.J., Eyring was president of the church-owned Rick's College in Rexburg, Idaho, from 1972 to 1977 and taught in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University from 1962 to 1971.
Mormons gather in April and October to hear words of guidance and faith building inspiration from the highest church leaders. The conference draws thousands to Salt Lake City, where those lucky enough to secure tickets gather inside the church's 21,000 seat conference center, while others mingle on the church's manicured downtown campus and temple grounds.
The proceedings are simultaneously transmitted to church centers and homes around the world via satellite, Internet and radio broadcasts in more than 80 languages.