SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday President Thomas S. Monson will no longer attend meetings on a regular basis.
Due to “limitations incident to his age,” Monson, 89, will not be present at meetings at the church offices.
The Church says he “communicates and confers with his counselors on matters as needed.”
“President Monson is grateful that the work of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles continues without interruption. He appreciates the prayers and support of Church members,” The Church said in a statement.
President Monson became ill and was hospitalized in April following the 187th Annual General Conference.
“All members of the LDS church are concerned for President Monson but, at the same time, this is not much of a surprise,” said Lincoln Davies, professor of law at University of Utah.
“His declining health has been visible for sometime now,” added Davies, who is also a member of the LDS church.
In early April, Monson was hospitalized after a reduced speaking schedule at General Conference–and he also had trouble speaking at General Conference back in 2015 — seen having difficulty breathing, speaking and standing.
“The key significance of him not being in meetings is that now the governance will shift slightly. So before, he was there making calls, making decisions. And, I think everyone would always look to him for those decisions,” said Davies.
Davies says: “The LDS church has a robust governance structure.”
Because the most senior member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles becomes president, Davies says that the church has a governing structure which continues to operate smoothly.
“You, with some regularity, have presidents of the church who are older and have health problems and so that structure is there in place to back that up,” said Davies.