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A collection of RadioWest conversations about LDS history, faith, and culture.

Age and Leadership in the LDS Church

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Thursday, Doug is joined by Mormon scholars Richard Bushman and Gregory Prince for a conversation about the Presidency of the LDS Church. President Thomas S. Monson is 87 years old, and there are unconfirmed rumors that he may be suffering from some form of dementia. There have been similar issues with past Presidents, and with an average age of 80 for the highest offices, it's likely to continue. We’ll talk about what this means for the Church, its members, and for the leaders themselves.

Richard L. Bushman is a historian and Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. Among his books are Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction [Indiebound|Amazon] and Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling [Indiebound|Amazon]

Gregory A. Prince is an independent historian and the author of Power From On High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood [Indiebound|Amazon], and co-author, with William Robert Wright, of David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism [Indiebound|Amazon]

We received the following statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Monson is 87. It’s natural that he and others in Church leadership are feeling the effects of advancing age. However, he spoke publicly at General Conference earlier this month and attended all the 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. 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.