President Thomas S. Monson exits a session of the LDS General Conference on April 1, 2017. Courtesy of Intellectual Reserve Inc.

Mormon leader Thomas Monson, 89, hospitalized

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Thomas S. Monson, 89, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and considered a prophet by the world’s 16 million Mormons, has been hospitalized.

Monson was feeling ill on Monday (April 3) after attending the church's General Conference last weekend, LDS spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement.

“He has received treatment and fluids and will hopefully be released soon,” Hawkins said. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Monson remained in the hospital on Wednesday morning.

Monson has been president of the LDS church since Feb. 3, 2008. Appearing gaunt, he skipped the afternoon sessions of the conference on Saturday and Sunday. He gave a brief sermon during the Saturday evening “priesthood session,” open only to male members of the church but broadcast in real time.

And he announced plans for five new LDS temples to be constructed in Utah, Idaho, Kenya, the Philippines and Brazil. There are 155 in operation currently around the world.

While LDS officials aren’t speculating on Monson’s health, a successor is in place. Should Monson leave office, Russell M. Nelson, 92, a thoracic surgeon who since 2015 has been president of the church’s second-highest governing body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, would ascend to the position, as Monson did in 2008.