Thomas-s-monson-april-2017

The Mormon Newsroom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement this afternoon announcing that Church President Thomas S. Monson has decreased his involvement in Church leadership meetings.

Because of limitations incident to his age, President Monson is no longer attending meetings at the Church offices on a regular basis,” said the statement. “He communicates and confers with his counselors on matters as needed.

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins added that there was no specific incident or condition that led to the update.

President Monson, age 89, has clearly shown the effects of age in recent years.  During April’s General Conference, he did not attend two of the sessions and gave only brief remarks during his addresses, as has been the case since the October 2015 session, during which he spoke at some length. Monson was also briefly hospitalized immediately after the April 2017 General Conference.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, who preceded President Monson as LDS Church President, remained quite vigorous until his death at age 97, in January of 2008.  President Hinckley gave lengthy addresses at the October 2007 General Conference, only months before his passing.

President Howard W. Hunter, who served as church president for only nine months before his death at age 87, also offered full addresses at the October 1994 conference, some months before his death.

Past LDS Church Presidents Ezra Taft Benson and Spencer W. Kimball both experienced declines with age that prevented their full participation in Church leadership for some time prior to their passing.  President Benson was 94 years-old when he died in 1994.  President Kimball was 90 years old at the time of his death in 1985.