(Courtesy LDS Church) Brook P. Hales, new Mormon general authority

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

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.

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Ronnie Dunlap