Latter-day Saint Life

When was the last time all 12 Apostles didn’t speak in general conference?

Conference pulpit

As part of the April 2023 general conference, President Dallin H. Oaks announced at the beginning of the Saturday morning session that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland would not be in attendance at the Conference Center this weekend.

Elder Holland also shared on his personal Twitter account that he and his wife Pat would not be attending general conference in person after testing positive for COVID-19.

► You may also like: Elder Holland unable to attend April 2023 general conference due to COVID-19

When was the last time all 12 Apostles did not speak at the Church’s semiannual general conference? Here are the last two instances of this rare occurrence as well as four times Church Presidents did not speak in or attend general conference in person.

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles did not speak at general conference in April 2011 or October 2017 as he suffered from poor health.

President Thomas S. Monson did not attend general conference in October 2017 as he was dealing with health challenges related to age. He was 90 years old at the time and passed away on January 2, 2018.

President Spencer W. Kimball first missed a couple of conference sessions in April 1980, but it wasn’t for reasons related to health or age. According to Deseret News, after he spoke at the Saturday morning opening session, President Kimball flew to New York and spoke in the Sunday morning session via satellite link from the Peter Whitmer Sr. farmhouse in Fayette, New York, and later at the Church meetinghouse nearby. This unique conference commemorated the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Church.

On another occasion, President Kimball’s historic talk “The Role of Righteous Women” in October 1979 general conference was read by his wife, Camilla, as President Kimball was hospitalized at the time.

President David O. McKay suffered with health challenges throughout the 1960s. At the age of 91, President McKay missed the October 1964 general conference on the advice of his physician.

Want to stay in the Latter-day Saint loop all year long? Subscribe to the daily LDS Living Newsletter for information and inspiration right to your inbox.

You may also like

October 09, 2023 07:00 AM MDT
In his five years as Church president, President Russell M. Nelson has announced 153 new temple locations.
7 Min Read
“I think that you’re a great people. Making friends with you is very easy,” said the Ga Mantse.
1 Min Read
April 07, 2023 09:33 AM MDT
The Church released the 2022 statistical report during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference.
1 Min Read

Pre-order the April 2023 General Conference Addresses, Journal Edition

Begins shipping in May 2023

The General Conference Addresses Journal Edition will have all the text of the April 2023 general conference addresses in one spiral-bound paperback. Extra-wide, lined margins give you space to record your impressions and to document the insights you receive. Create an enduring record to make the inspired teachings of general conference an ongoing part of your gospel learning.

Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content