clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Elder Scott unable to attend meetings of the Twelve, but Elder Perry returns

SALT LAKE CITY — Elder Richard G. Scott is not participating in meetings of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of which he is a member, due to "a fading memory incident to age," according to a news release issued Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Elder L. Tom Perry, 92, who began treatment for thyroid cancer on April 24, attended both scheduled meetings of the Twelve this week and has "resumed his responsibilities," according to Friday's news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Scott, 86, spent five nights in the hospital late last month due to internal bleeding. The cause of the bleeding was a stomach ulcer.

The bleeding was controlled without major surgery, and doctors now consider his condition stable.

Elder Scott has served in the Quorum of the Twelve for 26 years. He was absent from the church's general conference sessions last month because of poor health.

Elder Perry was hospitalized for a few hours on April 22 for breathing problems. While he has resumed his responsibilities, he remains under medical care for thyroid cancer.

The church released a photo of Elder Perry with his wife, Barbara, and all three members of the faith's First Presidency — church President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

President Monson, who himself is 87, continues to fulfill all of his responsibilities, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said.

"It’s natural that he and others in church leadership are feeling the effects of advancing age," Hawkins added. "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."

Throughout the history of the LDS Church, it has always been the apostle with most seniority in office who has been chosen to succeed the church president following the president’s death.

"That system of seniority will usually bring older men to the office of president of the church," Elder Russell M. Nelson, also of the Twelve, said during the faith's October 2014 general conference. "It provides continuity, seasoned maturity, experience and extensive preparation, as guided by the Lord."

He also said the system provides for "prophetic leadership even when the inevitable illnesses and incapacities may come with advancing age."

Each member of the three-man First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is called as a prophet, seer and revelator and holds the keys to lead the church.

If an LDS Church president becomes ill or can't function, his two counselors constitute a quorum of the First Presidency and carry on its day-to-day work. Major issues are considered together by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.

The church has functioned this way at times in the past, for example when the late President Spencer W. Kimball was incapacitated for much of the final years of his church presidency in the 1980s.

This system extends into other areas of church leadership as well. During the extended, health-related absences of the late President Howard W. Hunter while he was president of the Quorum of the Twelve in the early 1990s, then-Elder Boyd K. Packer acted in his stead.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com