ST. GEORGE — In a statement released Sunday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that while 87-year-old church president Thomas S. Monson is feeling the effects of advanced age, he is still maintaining a full schedule and fulfilling his duties.
The statement comes amid speculation from KUER’s Radio West program, that Monson is afflicted with some sort of dementia. With the average age of the church’s First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at 80 years old, the highest average in the history of the religion, and the recent hospitalization of two of the members of the quorum, L. Tom Perry, who at age 92 has just commenced treatment for thyroid cancer, and 86-year-old Richard G. Scott who was recently hospitalized for gastrointestinal bleeding, the question has been raised about the advanced age of the church’s leadership.
The speculation about Monson was fueled by his missing a meeting recently with President Obama in Salt Lake City. The church said that Monson was simply saving his strength in preparation for the church’s General Conference, which began the next day.
The statement said:
President Monson is 87. It’s natural that he and others in the Church leadership are feeling the effects of advancing age. However, he spoke publicly at General Conference earlier this month and attended all meetings. He comes to the office every day, attends all First Presidency and committee meetings, leads the discussion, and makes decisions. The workload of the First Presidency is up to date.
The statement also said, “President Monson has always been private about his health, but appreciates the prayers and sustaining support of Church members, as do all of the First Presidency and the Twelve.”
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