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Apr 6, 2013 4:22 PM by Associated Press

Woman to lead closing prayer at Mormon conference

SALT LAKE CITY - For the first time in 183 years, a woman will lead a closing prayer at the semi-annual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Church leaders announced Saturday that Jean A. Stevens would lead the morning session's closing prayer for more than 100,000 members of the church who've gathered in Salt Lake City for two-day general conference, and the millions more watching via satellite, radio or Internet broadcast.

A feminist group launched a campaign in January asking church leaders to let women lead the opening and closing prayer at the conference as a symbol of gender equality.

Women can hold many leadership positions in church but aren't allowed to be bishops or stake presidents.

Also today, the faith's president announced the church plans to build new temples in Rio de Janeiro and Cedar City, Utah today.

The conference takes place all day Saturday and continues Sunday.

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