RELIGION

The Latest: Mormon leader cautions against rebellion

  • FILE - In this April 2, 2016, file photo, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs during the opening session of the two-day Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Mormons gather for a twice-yearly conference to hear spiritual guidance from top leaders during a testy presidential election and as society grapples with issues of race and sexuality. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

    FILE - In this April 2, 2016, file photo, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs during the opening session of the two-day Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Mormons gather for a twice-yearly conference to hear spiritual guidance from top leaders during a testy presidential election and as society grapples with issues of race and sexuality. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 2, 2016, file photo, members of the combined Choir from BYU-Idaho raise their hands during a sustaining vote at the two-day Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Mormons gather for a twice-yearly conference to hear spiritual guidance from top leaders during a testy presidential election and as society grapples with issues of race and sexuality. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

    FILE - In this April 2, 2016, file photo, members of the combined Choir from BYU-Idaho raise their hands during a sustaining vote at the two-day Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Mormons gather for a twice-yearly conference to hear spiritual guidance from top leaders during a testy presidential election and as society grapples with issues of race and sexuality. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on a Mormon conference in Salt Lake City (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A Mormon leader is cautioning members not to succumb to rebellion, which would keep them out of heaven.

J. Devn Cornish of the faith's second-tier of worldwide leaders spoke Saturday during a church conference in Salt Lake City about sin and repentance. Cornish said members can be forgiven for sins if they sincerely repent, but reminded that consequences of their actions sometimes linger.

He spoke sternly about rebellion, saying Satan was cast of heaven for rebelling. He also told members that "the worst kind of sin is premeditated sin where one says, I can sin now and repent later.'"

Cornish delivered his speech during a twice-yearly conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in which leaders provide spiritual instruction and guidance to members in attendance or watching live broadcasts.

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11:15 a.m.

A Mormon leader is urging members of the Utah-based religion not to be timid about defending church founder Joseph Smith's story.

Craig Christensen of the faith's second-tier of worldwide leaders spoke Saturday during a church conference in Salt Lake City about members struggling with "erroneous, misleading or superficial information" about Smith.

He told members to remember the many benefits that have come in the nearly 200 years since Smith, then a teenager, says he had a vision of God and Jesus Christ in the woods of upstate New York that led to the formation of the church 10 years later.

Christensen didn't reference any specific misinformation about Smith, though critics have long questioned Smith's accounts of his visions and his account that God helped him translate gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian into the Book of Mormon.

Leaders give speeches of spiritual guidance and sometimes announce new church initiatives during the twice-yearly conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints'.

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12:11 a.m.

Mormons are gathering in Salt Lake City to listen to speeches from church leaders at a twice-yearly conference.

More than 100,000 members of the faith are expected to attend five sessions in Salt Lake City that span Saturday and Sunday. Thousands more will listen or watch around the world on television, radio, satellite and internet broadcasts.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' conference comes amid an intense presidential election in the U.S. and as members around the world grapple with the increasing needs of refugees.

Church leaders could talk more about their push to be welcoming toward refugees at a time when some others are tightening the hatches.

Mormon leaders are not expected to mention presidential candidates by name, but they could advocate again for public civility and compassion.