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LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson spoke briefly on the "precious gift of priesthood power" and its "solemn responsibilities" at the conclusion of Saturday evening's all-male session of the faith's General Conference.

The meeting ended after 90 minutes (akin to the general women's session) rather than the usual two hours.

"The speeches were shorter, including President Monson's," church spokeswoman Kristen Howey said. "Shorter talks, hence shorter session."

Still, the timing led to speculation among the faithful about Monson's health.

Ever since last April, the 88-year-old Mormon leader has halved his number of talks during the twice-yearly conferences from four to two. He also did not meet with President Barack Obama last year, when the U.S. leader was in Salt Lake City. Monson's counselors did.

In October's conference, Monson appeared to grow weak at the pulpit and his voice started to trail off. He finished his sermon and was helped to his seat.

The church has said that Monson is "feeling the effects of advancing age."

On Saturday, the LDS leader, considered a "prophet, seer and revelator" by Mormons, was present at all three sessions, but spoke only for five minutes in the all-male priesthood meeting at the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

"Wherever you go, your priesthood goes with you," Monson told the boys and men. "Are you standing in holy places? Before you put yourself and your priesthood in jeopardy by venturing into places or participating in activities which are not worthy of you or of that priesthood, pause to consider the consequences. Remember who you are and what God expects you to become. You are a child of promise. You are a man of might. You are a son of God."

Other speakers also addressed the importance of priesthood power as well as the centrality of marriage and family in Mormon theology.

"The priesthood conferred upon us is the very same power and authority through which God created this and numberless worlds, governs the heavens and the Earth, and exalts his obedient children," said senior LDS apostle Russell M. Nelson, next in line for the presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Too many Mormon men who have been given priesthood authority, he said, "lack priesthood power because the flow of power has been blocked by sins such as laziness, dishonesty, pride, immorality, or preoccupation with things of the world."

Further, he feared that "there are too many priesthood bearers who have done little or nothing to develop their ability to access the powers of heaven."

"I worry about all who are impure in their thoughts, feelings, or actions or who demean their wives or children, thereby cutting off priesthood power."

The 91-year-old Nelson urged Mormon males to live up to their "privileges as bearers of the priesthood. ... Only a man who has paid the price for priesthood power will be able to bring miracles to those he loves and keep his marriage and family safe, now and throughout eternity."

Henry B. Eyring, Monson's first counselor in the governing First Presidency, spoke about eternal marriage, saying it should be the "focus and purpose" of all LDS priesthood bearers.

"That means we must strive to be sealed to an eternal companion in the temple of God," he said. "We must also encourage others to make and keep the covenants that bind a husband and wife together, with their family, in this life and in the world to come."

Eyring said that is because it is the priesthood obligation of every Mormon male — "young or old, deacon or high priest, son or father ... to put our families and the families of those around us at the center of our concern. Every major decision should be based on the effect it will have on a family to qualify for life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ."

Monson's second counselor, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, urged listeners to work at saving their families and marriages.

"Strong marriage and family relationships do not happen just because we are members of the church," he said. "They require constant, intentional work. The doctrine of eternal families must inspire us to dedicate our best efforts to saving and enriching our marriages and families. I admire and applaud those who have preserved and nourished these critical, eternal relationships."

Mormonism's emphasis on strong families may make some members feel that only theirs has problems, Uchtdorf said. "But the reality is that there are no perfect families. Every family has moments of awkwardness."

He then listed some potential awkward moments: "Like, when your parents ask you to take a 'selfie' of them, or when your great-aunt insists that you are still single because you are just too picky, or when your opinionated brother-in-law thinks his political view is the gospel view, or when your dad arranges a family portrait with everyone dressed like characters in his favorite movie. And you get the Chewbacca costume."

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