The age, longevity of service for senior Church leaders is ‘cause for celebration,’ says President Nelson

Now in his 100th year, President Russell M. Nelson addresses his age — and the age of other Latter-day Saint leaders — on social media before general conference

As Latter-day Saints worldwide prepare for April 2024 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson addressed on Thursday, April 4, the age and longevity of service of the Church’s senior leaders who will participate in the worldwide gathering.

“Dear brothers, sisters, and friends, how grateful I am that we can watch, listen to, or attend general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this weekend,” he wrote. “I know that the General Authorities and General Officers of the Church who will speak to us have prepared thoughtfully to teach us what the Lord would have them teach. I encourage you to view each session, prepared to make note of the spiritual impressions you receive.

Still, he said, for each member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — who serve long beyond retirement age — “time marches on.”

“As many of you know, I am closing in on my 100th birthday,” wrote President Nelson. “Though my body reminds me every day that it is nearly a century old and to go easy on it, I honestly don’t know where the years have gone. They have simply flown by.

“As senior leaders in the Church, we are called to serve for the remainder of our lives, often long beyond ‘retirement age.’ This means that you may see some of us during General Conference speak while sitting down, or pre-record our message to be shared at the appropriate time, or even require a little assistance getting to and from our seats in the Conference Center.”

President Nelson wrote that from his point of view this is “cause for celebration.”

“I thank the Lord every day for the privilege of still being here with you. I cherish working alongside colleagues who are wearing out their lives in service to our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, despite the aches and creaks that come with advancing age. I don’t have words to express how grateful I am for strong colleagues on whom I can lean in many ways as we strive to serve the Lord.

“May each of us, regardless of our individual circumstances, listen with open hearts and minds to what we hear this weekend so that the Lord can continue to direct each of us in our individual paths.”

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