The Mormon church has issued its first statement that directly addresses the health of its 87-year-old president.

The statement, released Friday, says "it's natural" President Thomas S. Monson and other church leaders are "feeling the effects of advancing age."

But The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1bPo2Yw ) the statement notes Monson spoke publicly and attended all meetings at the Utah-based faith's biannual conference last month.

The statement further says Monson comes to the office every day, attends all First Presidency and committee meetings, and leads discussions and makes decisions.

New questions about Monson's health surfaced when he bypassed a meeting with President Barack Obama in Salt Lake City last month and cut his speaking by half at April's General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com