Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Robert Hales, one of the 12 apostles, or leaders, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Sunday at a Salt Lake City hospital, the church announced.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said Hales had been hospitalized for several days for pulmonary and other illnesses, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Hawkins said the elder died "peacefully" surrounded by his wife and family.
Born on Aug. 24, 1932, in New York City, Hales was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1994. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is one of the governing bodies of the Mormon Church.
"He lived his testimony," said President Henry B. Eyring, a member of the First Presidency. "He knew God. He knew the savior, and he loved the savior. ... And he behaved as if God was close, heavenly father was close."
The church said due to Hales' illness, he had been unable to attend the church's 187th semiannual general conference, which was ongoing at the time of his death.
Hales was survived by his wife, Mary Crandall, and their two sons.