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Openly transgender Mormon woman attends priesthood

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has recently undergone a big transition and tonight hopes the church will accept her for who she says she is.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has recently undergone a big transition and tonight hopes the church will accept her for who she says she is.

Leahnora Isaak was born a man, was ordained in the priesthood, but now wants the church to recognize her as a woman.

“I knew at four years old that I was female,” she said.

Up until last spring, Leahnora was known as Bob, a husband, father and priesthood holder.

“I felt that being Bob I was a cross-dresser I felt that weaning male clothing was the wrong clothing for me,” Leahnora said.

In May, she and her wife divorced and she came from Ohio to Salt Lake City where she marched in the Salt Lake Pride parade and officially became Leah.

“I took off my male clothing and never put it on again, I have never represented as male since that time,” she said.

Now living in Portland, Oregon, Leahnora attends church regularly. She said leaders allow her to attend priesthood meetings as a woman.

“During the priesthood meetings I attended, the stake president got up and said… “I’m working hard to make sure she is loved and accepted as a child of God and she is recognized as a woman,” said Leahnora.

Leahnora has legally changed her name and her sex, but her church records remain untouched which has become a road block to attend Relief Society meetings-- something she'd prefer to do.

“The records of the church still have me down as Robert and so it's more appropriate for me to go to priesthood,” she said.

As she embarks down the road of getting her records to reflect her new gender, Leahnora hopes the church will hold her same beliefs.

“The scriptures clearly state that we are to be our authentic selves,” said Leahnora. “It's the gender not the sex. The gender is the eternal identity.”

ABC 4 Utah reached out to the church for a comment. A spokesperson said this is the first they've heard of the matter and are looking into it. Meanwhile, Leahnora is in the process of requesting her church records be formally changed and plans to send that letter soon.


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