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Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy Birthday to 4 great men this month!

I am posting for a very exciting reason. Four out of our thirteen currently serving apostles have a birthday this month. Before Elder Perry and President Packer died, it was five out of fifteen apostles, or one-third. That said, let's review who these four men are and the milestone each will experience.

With the death of Elder Perry (who would have marked 93 years August 5), the first apostolic birthday for the month is Elder Neil L. Andersen. He will be 64 on August 9. He is the most junior apostle and the second youngest apostle currently serving.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks will be 83 years old on August 12. He is currently the fifth oldest apostle and the third in apostolic seniority (which includes the First Presidency as well as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles).

President Thomas S. Monson, who, with the deaths of Boyd K. Packer on July 3 and L. Tom Perry on May 31, is now the second oldest apostle in addition to being the most senior apostle, will celebrate his 88th birthday on August 21. He is reportedly not in very good health, but looked healthy enough and was well enough to speak at both Elder Perry's and President Packer's funeral. He apparently is no longer making journeys around the world to attend temple dedications, delegating those opportunities to his counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, whether he is not able to in view of his health or simply choosing to give his counselors those opportunities. I hope he will be with us for many more years to come, but only time will tell.

The final apostle with a birthday this month is Elder Robert D. Hales, who, like Elder Oaks, turns 83 on August 24. His health has been rocky ever since his early years as a general authority. I don't know what the current status of his health is. He has missed several general conferences for his health, with the latest one being April 2011. With his health status being what it is, he only attends the conference session he is assigned to speak at, watching the rest of them at home. There's no way to know for sure, but I anticipate, in view of his health, that he may be the next apostle to pass away. I never look forward to the passing of any of the Brethren, and it will be no different with Elder Hales. Perhaps because he has had so many brushes with death, his talks have been more rich in doctrine than they would have otherwise been. He has given many talks on adversity, citing his personal experience, and many more on how to become more Christlike.

I invite any of you who may be curious about the lives of any of the brethren with birthdays this month to do more studying on them. I hope we will willingly give heed not just to the birthday brethren, but to all those men we accept as prophets, seers, and revelators. Thanks, as always, for reading these posts. Best wishes to you all!