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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hartford Connecticut Temple Dedicated today/The Health of the Brethren and Apostolic Age Averages

The Church now has 155 temples. The Hartford Connecticut Temple was dedicated in three sessions today. Much to my surprise, delight, and great relief, President Henry B. Eyring, looking hale and hearty for a change from his last public appearance, presided at the dedication. He was accompanied by his "junior" apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (I say junior because, with the First Presidency organized as it is, he is in that sense "senior" to Elder Holland, though he is actually below Elder Holland in overall apostolic seniority.) As I found out and revealed in an earlier post, Elder Holland has personal ties to the Hartford area, having done post-graduate work near there.

To be honest, President Eyring's apparent vitality and presence at this dedication has me confused. I know that, being the age he is, he may naturally be feeling some physical complaints typical for his time of life. But I recall all too well how gaunt, pale, and frail he looked at General Conference, or even, more recently, at the dedication of the Thomas S. Monson building on the U of U campus. It is not without precedence for an "aging" apostle to have his moments of going between hale and hearty and pale and frail. The aging of the brethren is by no means a new concept, and the ebb and flow of their health is to be expected. It goes with the territory. For the most part, it was a relief to learn that President Eyring may not be as badly ailing in health as he appeared to be.

Now I am honestly not sure what to make of the health of the brethren. Whatever may have been wrong with President Eyring previously could have been resolved. There's no way of knowing. But if he is functioning above the capacity some, including myself, have been mistakenly led to believe, perhaps there won't be a need for an additional counselor in the First Presidency for a while, if indeed there is need for one at all in the near future.

President Eyring's health aside, the two apostles that may pass next seem to be President Thomas S. Monson or Elder Robert D. Hales. But then, there have been many times when I believed an apostle to be seriously ill only to have them bounce back for a conference or two or more, then pass away. At this point, it is highly speculative, in my opinion, to conjecture which apostles might pass and when.

One thing that is absolutely sure: No matter what goes on with the health of the brethren, and no matter who passes and who moves on to lead this Church, we have the absolute conviction that there is no need to worry about the future of the Church. The principle of apostolic succession is alive and well, and, as I've said in the past, we are extraordinarily blessed to not only witness the release by death of those apostles the Lord calls home in His way and according to His due time, but also the calling of equally amazing and qualified men to fill the vacancies of such deaths. It is a perfect system for the Lord's Church.

That being said, I wanted to end this post by reporting on the latest apostolic age averages, which I configured for today just last night. FWIW, the next apostolic birthday will be marked on December 3. On that day, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland will be 76. As of today, the average age of the First Presidency is 82.91 years, while the average age of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is 74.47 (interestingly, a palindrome). The average age of all currently living apostles is 76.16.

As always, thanks for reading my musings, and, if you feel so inclined, for adding any comments you might have.