President Russell M. Nelson suffered a fall soon after his 99th birthday and will watch remotely this weekend as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds an international general conference.

“This weekend, however, I will be watching general conference through technology just as most of you will,” he announced on X, the platform formally known as Twitter. “Three weeks ago, I fell and injured the muscles in my lower back.”

He said he still hoped to record a general conference message.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will watch the conference from home. He continues to recuperate from recent health challenges, the church announced in a news release.

President Nelson also said his back is healing, but his doctor has prescribed a deliberate approach.

“Having prescribed just such a course of action for many of my own patients years ago, I feel duty-bound to follow doctor’s orders,” he said.

President Nelson met with leaders of the University of Utah on Aug. 30 to donate the medical journals from his career as a pioneering heart surgeon.

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He turned 99 on Sept. 9, and celebrated with members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve on Friday, Sept. 8. He said he fell two days after the celebration, on Sept. 10.

Here is President Nelson’s entire message:

Dear brothers, sisters and friends, we have the cherished opportunity this coming weekend to attend or watch our semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! General conference weekends are two of my favorite weekends of the year. How I love meeting in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City with all who gather there.

This weekend, however, I will be watching general conference through technology just as most of you will. Three weeks ago, I fell and injured the muscles in my lower back. This episode has reminded me of the reality that things sometimes change quickly in our lives. This photo of my counselors and me was taken at the celebration of my 99th birthday. Two days later, I fell.

Thankfully, my healing is progressing. But as my physician says, “We don’t have much data on how 99-year-olds recover from an injury like this one, so I am prescribing a slow, careful approach to healing so that you achieve a full recovery.” Having prescribed just such a course of action for many of my own patients years ago, I feel duty-bound to follow doctor’s orders.

I am still not able to sit in a chair for long periods of time. However, I am hoping to record my general conference message and look forward to participating in this marvelous October 2023 general conference through technology.

I pray that each of us, wherever we may be, will approach this sacred weekend with our hearts full of gratitude for the privilege of hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed by His servants. May this general conference be a time of joy and spiritual rejuvenation for you. I know that it will be for me!

President Russell M. Nelson, center, poses for a photograph on his 99th birthday with his counselors on Sept. 9, 2023.
President Russell M. Nelson, center, poses for a photograph on his 99th birthday with his counselors in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dallin H. Oaks, left, and President Henry B. Eyring at his office in the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Sept. 9, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A news release expressed leaders’ gratitutude for prayers on their behalf.

“The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sincerely appreciate the love and support offered by members and friends of the church around the world. Each is grateful for the prayers offered on their behalf to help sustain them in their ministry of testifying of the Savior Jesus Christ.”

The church’s 193rd Semiannual General Conference originates from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and will be broadcast globally in five unique two-hour sessions:

Saturday, September 30

10 a.m. MDT General session.

2 p.m. MDT General session.

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6 p.m. MDT Evening session.

Sunday, October 1

10 a.m. MDT General session.

2 p.m. MDT General session.

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