The First Presidency of the Society for Humanistic Mormonism serves as the highest ranking authority in this new worldwide religion of Humanistic Mormonism. Current members of the First Presidency include:
James Edward Nickels Jr
Acting President in the First Presidency
Steven J. Strang
First Counselor in the First Presidency
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism is under the authority of The First Presidency for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism which is the governing body of this religion and institution. Both the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles serve as the two leading bodies for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism.
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' Mission is to give advice to the First Presidency on the governing philosophy, beliefs, and rituals of the Society for Humanistic Mormonism who in turn make final decisions on what governing principles or beliefs will be incorporated into the Society.
Current members of the The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism include:
President Jason Cooperrider, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Presiding Patriarch and the Presiding Matriarch to the Society for Humanistic Mormonism serve as the head Patriarch and head Matriarch to the Society whose offices are co-equal in authority.
Nancy S. Kader
The Office of Presiding Bishop for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism is to be the Head Bishop of all Humanistic Mormons worldwide and is under the authority of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Presiding Bishop to the Society for Humanistic Mormonism
We are currently looking for more Apostles for the Society as well as a Presiding Bishop. If you are interested please email us at SocietyforHumanisticMormonism@gmail.com and send your resume along. Thank you.
President James E. Nickels, Jr. serves as the Acting President in the First Presidency for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism and President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Comparative Literature (double major) from Indiana University, 1970, a Master of Science in History in History with graduate minors in English Literature and Humanities from Indiana State University, 1971, a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University, 1974, a Master of Arts from Union Institute & University in Creativity Studies with a concentration in Creativity & Process Theology, 2012. He is lovingly referred to as both the “Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Gandalf and the John the Baptist of Humanistic Mormonism.”
He is now working on a 4th Master's degree from Union Institute & University in Psychology and at the same time he is working on an Associate of Arts degree from Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend, Indiana in Criminal Justice. He has career certificates in Creative Writing and Business Management. He served in the United States Air Force and worked for the Department of Public Welfare in Indiana for 16 years in Child Welfare Placement, Child Protective Services, Public Assistance, and State Quality Control. He served on the Board of Directors for the North Shore Community Health Care Clinic, Portage, Indiana, the largest free and sliding scale health care clinic in Northwest Indiana for 5 years. He has two grown sons, James Edward Nickels, III and Brett Alexander Nickels. At 64 years old, he is now a retired married man who decided to go back to school.
President Scott Bennion serves as the Second Counselor of the First Presidency for the Society for Humanistic Mormonism. He has a BA in political science from the University of Utah. He is fluent in Russian and German. He is currently serving in the United States Army at Special Operations Command. President Bennion comes from a distinguished line of liberal Mormon thinkers including his great uncle Lowell L. Bennion. President Bennion's current goal is to work his way up as an officer in the U.S. Army. He jokes that he may become "the next Porter Rockwell for Humanistic Mormonism" and a body guard to the President of the Society. Agnostic about most things he still believes that anything is possible. He believes for example that Jesus would approve of red wine 'in moderation.'
President Steven J. Strang serves as the First Counselor in the First Presidency in the Society for Humanistic Mormonism and is openly gay. He also serves as the first Temple President called to the Society for Humanistic Mormonism. President Strang holds a BA degree in Sociology from the University of Delaware and is making career plans to work at at private prep school in Delaware. His intellectual inspiration comes from thinkers such as Ray Kurzweil and the late Christopher Hitchens. President Strang always strives to share the gospel of Humanistic Mormonism in any way he can. His underlining philosophical starting point is simply to follow the evidence in all our actions or beliefs in life, he says, "To act in accordance with reason and to always require evidence is to be virtuous." He strongly believes that LGBT rights ought to be protected in society.
President Jason Cooperrider serves as the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Society for Humanistic Mormonism. He has served in many capacities as a Humanist leader and thinker. He has served as the Secretary to the Humanists of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah (January 2011 to the present). He has served on the Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Utah Coalition of Reason (July 2010 to the present). He also was the co-founder, treasurer, President and Vice-President of the campus student organization called SHIFT (Secular Humanism, Inquiry and Freethought) at the University of Utah (May 2009 to present).
Professionally, President Cooperrider is a University of Utah Graduate Research Fellow (August 2008 to the present). As a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in the Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, he studies the brain and cognitive basis of exceptional abilities (savant skills) in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder, in a lab that studies brain and cognitive development in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (using multiple neuroimaging techniques and neuropsychological testing) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah.
President Cooperrider says of himself: “I am an avid transhumanist/futurist/technophile. I love science and Star Trek (especially Voyager). I also love reading books by Arthur C. Clarke, my favorite author. I have a black Labrador retriever companion, Tuvok, whom I love dearly, back in Ohio. I am a freethinker, in that I do not subscribe to dogma, choosing instead to critically evaluate available evidence.” Elder Cooperrider is a vegetarian and an environmentalist. He says that “only through reason, science, and compassion---the core message of Humanistic Mormonism---will we create a better world, so that finally humanity can progress. I work toward promoting this message in the Society. Humanistic Mormonism is for me that hopeful message: We can and we must transcend human limits.”
Matriarch Nancy S. Kader serves as the Presiding Matriarch in the Society for Humanistic Mormonism. Nancy Stowe Kader was born in Ogden, UT with strong pioneer roots. However, her worldview was enlarged by marrying one of the few Muslims at BYU, Omar Kader. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Nursing and worked as a Critical Care nurse for many years. She and Omar raised four sons, Tarik, a musician; Gabe; a lawyer and political researcher; Aron, a Hollywood comedian; and Jake, a writer and playwright in NYC. The couple have 3 grandchildren. After relocating to the DC area, she acquired her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Maryland College Park. Matriarch Kader works as a bioethicist consultant and she is inspired in ethics by a pragmatic approach pioneered by John Rawls and T. M. Scanlon.
Matriarch Kader says: "Too often religious people do not produce value in their lives because they are focused on a very sketchy notion of being rewarded in an afterlife. If we re-focus on this life in the here and now, we do more good, produce more good for others and live a more enjoyable and compassionate life. Secular humanism offers the best ideas for this way of living."
By waging war against Reason, which they ought to have protected and developed, the ministers of the gods evidently act against their own interest. What power, influence, and respect might they not have gained among the wisest of men, what gratitude would they not have excited in the people, if, instead of wasting their time about their vain disputes, they had applied themselves to really useful science, and investigated the true principles of philosophy, government, and morals! Who would dare to reproach a body with its opulence or influence, if the members dedicating themselves to the public good, employed their leisure in study, and exercised their authority in enlightening the minds both of sovereigns and subjects?
Priests! Forsake your chimeras, your unintelligible dogmas, your contemptible quarrels! Banish those phantoms which could be useful only in the infancy of nations. Assume, at length, the language of reason. Instead of exciting persecution; instead of entertaining the people with silly disputes; instead of preaching useless and fanatical dogmas, preach human and social morality; preach virtues really useful to the world; become the apostles of reason, the defenders of liberty, and the reformers of abuses.
GOOD SENSE WITHOUT GOD:
FREETHOUGHTS OPPOSED TO SUPERNATURAL IDEAS
By Baron D'holbach, 1722 A.D.