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With average age of 80, Mormon church has never had older top leaders

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) For the first time in the history of the 185-year-old Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the average age of the 15 men who comprise the faith’s top leaders is 80.

 The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the October 2011 general conference. From left to right is First Counselor President Henry B. Eyring, President Thomas S. Monson and Second Counselor Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Photo courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
 The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the October 2011 general conference. From left to right is First Counselor President Henry B. Eyring, President Thomas S. Monson and Second Counselor Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Photo courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the October 2011 general conference. From left to right is First Counselor President Henry B. Eyring, President Thomas S. Monson and Second Counselor Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Photo courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The LDS Church has never had an older First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

For the first time in the history of the 185-year-old Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the average age of the 15 men who comprise the faith’s top leaders is 80.

LDS researcher Christian Anderson in Carlsbad, Calif., did the math, drawing on data provided by lds.org.

Here is what the rounded numbers show:

First Presidency:

  • Thomas S. Monson • 87.53 years
  • Henry B. Eyring • 81.75 years
  • Dieter F. Uchtdorf • 74.32 years

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

  • Boyd K. Packer • 90.48 years
  • L. Tom Perry • 92.57 years
  • Russell M. Nelson • 90.48 years
  • Dallin H. Oaks • 82.55 years
  • M. Russell Ballard • 86.40 years
  • Richard G. Scott • 86.32 years
  • Robert D. Hales • 82.52 years
  • Jeffrey R. Holland • 74.25 years
  • David A. Bednar • 62.71 years
  • Quentin L. Cook • 74.48 years
  • D. Todd Christofferson • 70.10 years
  • Neil L. Andersen • 63.56 years

Other Mormon bloggers have commented on the men’s advanced age.

John English, a technical project manager living in Utah, has a proposal for dealing with the aging LDS leadership: Have apostles be named emeritus at age 90.

LDS leaders already grant emeritus status to members of the Quorum of the Seventy when they reach age 70.

It feels like the LDS Church “is due for some big things in the 21st century,” English writes, “and this would be a significant policy change that could help the leadership lead on those very things.”

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