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Elder Hales hospitalized, will not participate in LDS Church's general conference

SALT LAKE CITY — LDS Church apostle Elder Robert D. Hales has been hospitalized for several days, with ongoing medical attention to preclude him from attending general conference sessions this weekend, the church announced today.

"Elder Robert D. Hales was admitted to the hospital several days ago for treatment of pulmonary and other conditions," said Eric Hawkins, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "To permit their continued medical attention to Elder Hales, his doctors have determined that he should not participate in the Church's general conference this weekend."

Elder Hales was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 2, 1994. He was called as a church general authority on April 4, 1975, serving first as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve and later as a member fo the First Quorum of the Seventy. He was Presiding Bishop of the Church from April 1985 until his call to the Twelve.

Health challenges six years ago resulted in Elder Hales not participating in the April 2011 general conference. He returned to speak in the October 2011 conference, but did so from his chair rather than the pulpit. His participation prompted an LDS Church statement following the conference.

"Many members of the church have expressed concern and interest in Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Elder Hales suffered health challenges earlier this year that affected his mobility and endurance. As a result, he was not able to speak in the April 2011 general conference. His presence at the October general conference is an indication of the improvement he has made since the problems arose," the statement read.

"Elder Hales said, 'I continue to work with doctors and physical therapists to regain my strength. I am grateful for the faith and prayers that made it possible for me to participate in general conference and resume my responsibilities. I am touched by the many kind expressions of love and support shown to me and for your continued prayers.'

"As he so powerfully taught in general conference, Elder Hales continues to wait upon the Lord as he confronts this health challenge."

In the years since, Elder Hales has spoken at general conferences and new mission presidents seminars. In July of this year, he received the Pioneers of Progress President's Award from the Days of '47 Inc.