The following was written by Tad Walch for the Deseret News. To read the full article, click here

Cover image: The new presidency of the Genesis Group.

The Genesis Group began its monthly meeting Sunday night mourning the death of President Thomas S. Monson, the last living apostle who formed the LDS Church’s multicultural activity organization for Mormon blacks in 1971.

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Then the group said more goodbyes, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the group’s longstanding president and his counselors and installed a new presidency.

The events marked a momentous start to the year that will mark the 40th anniversary of the revelation that lifted the restriction on priesthood and temple blessings for blacks in the LDS Church.

President Monson died Tuesday at age 90. He had been one of three junior apostles who created Genesis in 1971. The others were President Gordon B. Hinckley, who like President Monson later became the senior apostle and president of the church, and President Boyd K. Packer, who later served as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

More than 400 people gave a long, standing ovation Sunday night as President Don Harwell, who led Genesis for 14 years and spent more than 22 years in the group’s presidency, was released by Elder David Warner, an Area Authority Seventy, at a stake center in Cottonwood Heights.

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