‘Mormon Land’: How President Russell M. Nelson has put the ‘latter’ back in Latter-day Saints

A look at the surprisingly transformative tenure of the faith’s 17th and oldest-ever president.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) President Russell M. Nelson speaks at the Heber Valley Temple groundbreaking Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. Nelson has overseen the global faith for five years as president.

It’s been an unexpectedly lively five years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — with institutional changes as well as pandemic shutdowns — and all under the leadership of President Russell M. Nelson.

The former heart surgeon became the Utah-based church’s 17th president on Jan. 14, 2018, at 93, the second oldest man to step into that role. No matter his age, Nelson was anything but retiring. With an increased emphasis on these “latter days,” he oversaw ambitious plans to perfect the organization, chart new courses, and shift much of the faith’s spiritual training and development to individuals and families.

Now at 98 and the oldest-ever church president, it’s time to examine what has he done.

On this week’s show, Patrick Mason, head of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University, examines the Nelson presidency — the big changes, the impact, what’s working, what isn’t and whether the church is better today than when he took over.

Listen here: