Recently, Religion News Service reported that President Obama had appointed the first Mormon member to his faith-based advisory council. Elder Steven Snow was appointed to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnership, which focuses on tasks such as advising on public policies relating to faith-based organizations and the best practices in delivering social services. Daniel Burke of the Religion News Service explains:

As he competes against a Mormon in the presidential election, President Obama has appointed the first Mormon member of his White House faith-based council.

Elder Steven Snow now serves as the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints official historian.

He is also a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a priesthood order of teachers and administrators.

“The faith-based office is made up of leaders of religions from across our great country, and Elder Snow’s appointment ensures that the LDS faith will have a seat at the table,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Like Snow, Hatch is Mormon.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, is also a member of the LDS church.

According to the White House, the advisory council is charged with: identifying best practices for delivering social services, improving the implementation of public policies related to faith-based groups, and recommending changes to polices, programs and practices to the president.

Recommendations from the first council, which ended its tenure in March 2010, were just sent to federal agencies in April.

The second council has been slow in coming together.

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