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LDS Church: President Monson absent from conference session to conserve energy

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said President Thomas S. Monson was absent from the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference in order to conserve his energy.

President Thomas S. Monson (Right) and Henry B. Eyring (Left) at the Saturday morning session of the April 2017 LDS General Conference.

The leader of the LDS Church attended Saturday morning's session but was not present as the Saturday afternoon session of the semi-annual event got underway.

The chair generally filled by President Thomas S. Monson remains empty during the Saturday afternoon session of the LDS Church's April 2017 General Conference. Screen capture courtesy
LDS Church.

An LDS Church spokesperson tells Fox 13 News Monson is "conserving his energy" but provided no further details.

Monson spoke Saturday night at the priesthood session of conference, focusing on a theme of kindness. He said Jesus Christ is the epitome of charity and that his love endures forever, which he said is an example all should strive to emulate.

Two more sessions of conference will be held Sunday, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

In recent years Monson's conference attendance has prompted concerns among LDS Church members regarding his health. In October of 2015, Monson became visibly weak during a conference address.

Ahead of the April 2015 conference, Monson reduced the number of talks he was expected to give during the event.

At last April's conference Monson gave a shorter message than is traditional during the priesthood session. 

Monson is 89 years old and has served as the 16th President of the LDS Church since February of 2008.

For more information about the LDS Church's General Conference, including details on livestreams, click here.