It’s hardly unusual for the LDS Church to name new general authorities. After all, there are scores of them.

It is rare, however, in recent decades for it to happen outside of the faith’s twice-yearly General Conferences.

But that’s what happened this week.

Brook P. Hales, the secretary to the governing First Presidency, has been tapped to be a general authority Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Friday in a news release.

A former bishop and stake (regional) president, Hales will continue to serve as the secretary to the three-member First Presidency. He previously worked as an assistant secretary for more than decade.

Hales has been a frequent speaker at April General Conferences, but only to give a statistical report on Mormonism’s growth — new converts, new temples, the number of full-time missionaries and such. The church stopped giving those reports over the pulpit this past April, choosing instead simply to post the figures online.

The 62-year-old Hales, an Ogden native, worked in banking and finance in the private sector after earning a degree in 1980 from what is now Weber State University.

He married Denise Imlay Hales in 1981. The couple have four children.