1. Older leaders are chosen given the depth and breadth of their experience.
2. Even ill health has its advantages. He quoted Elder Hales who said that being in ill-health makes you do only those things that are important.
3. The talk summary from LDS. org is below, but these are the key points I got from the message.
I had a bit of trouble with this one. Point #1 is a good one. I understand there are certain parts of the brain that actually get better with age, based on a documentary I watched about aging. With an international organization to lead, and thousands of members and a massive amount of assets at stake, it makes sense that you would bring on men with experience. I am not convinced that only aged men have those skills, but it wouldn't surprise me if there is a correlation between age and experience/ability on complex matters.
For number 2, I found this one very hard to take. For these reasons:
a) I don't see it as fair and kind to these men who are often serving as Apostles for life, while battling cancer or even dementia. Even Thomas S. Monson looked like he was going to keel over during his talk on sunday afternoon, seems to slur his speech, and even started stammering/repeating inconsequential phrases at the end of his talk. I felt for him.
I sure hope there is a by-law/rule in place that specifies when a leader can no longer serve due to ill health and incapacity. To me, it seems better to release people and get other capable people in place that can do the job without such agony. I'm glad they made Seventy's serve for 5 years only and not for life a few years ago.
b) I don't think it's fair to the members worldwide to have men who "only do what is important". There are layers of importance, and often, it's something that is not important to a leader that means mountains to the membership. I would much rather have someone who can do what is most important, and also, what is second-most important, and third-most important.
c) When leaders are not well, certain requests never make it to them because people don't want to place demands on someone who has a terminal illness or very bad health.
Overall, I thought this was a weak talk.
What are your thoughts on this one?
Here is the LDS.org Talk Summary
My purpose is to explain why indeed it is wonderful to have older men of great spiritual maturity and judgment serving in the senior leadership positions of the restored Church of Jesus Christ—and why we should “hear” and “hearken” (Mosiah 2:9) to the teachings of these men whom the Lord has “chosen to bear testimony of [His] name … among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people” (D&C 112:1). …
… These men have had a sustained season of tutoring by the Lord, whom they represent, serve, and love. They have learned to understand the divine language of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s patterns for receiving revelation. These ordinary men have undergone a most extraordinary developmental process that has sharpened their vision, informed their insight, engendered love for people from all nations and circumstances, and affirmed the reality of the Restoration. …
“Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). May we hear and heed the eternal truths taught by the Lord’s authorized representatives. As we do so, I promise our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be fortified, and we will receive spiritual guidance and protection for our specific circumstances and needs.