LDS Church addresses questions about age of leadership, a shifting cultural landscape

Posted at 6:26 PM, Oct 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-06 09:07:47-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrapped up its semi-annual General Conference Sunday with messages of faith and reminders of where Mormons stand in shifting cultural and social landscapes.

Church leaders talked about supporting their prophet, even if the views are unpopular.

The speakers appeared to be responding to remarks that leaders are too old and out of touch when it comes to issues of the day.

"There is something to be said about the combined wisdom of church leaders that should provide some comfort," said M. Russell Ballard, a member of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. "Including the consequences of different laws, policies, disappointments, tragedies, and deaths in our own families."

The youngest church apostle is 62 years old, while the oldest is 92. All of the leaders travel regularly and participate in many church functions. Most of them spoke at the two-day conference about issues the church and its members face.

"On the one side you have age, which does include some frailties, but it's the wealth of experience that we look to when we look for advice," church member Mark Cressler said when questioned about the aging leadership.

Church authorities asked that members lift up their prophet, despite limitations of aging, and assured the faithful that the LDS Church is in good hands.

"According to the world standards, following the prophet may be unpopular, politically incorrect or socially unacceptable, but following the prophet is always right," said Carol F. McConkie, First Counselor of the Young Women.

In Saturday's sessions, leaders defended the views of the church among rapid changes in social issues like same-sex marriage and women's roles.

Both days the message reiterated the world may be changing, but the LDS Church is not.