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Thomas Spencer Monson
Born Thomas Spencer Monson
August 21, 1927 (1927-08-21) (age 82)
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Residence Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Education B.S. (1948)
MBA (1974)
Hon. D.L. (1981)
Hon. D.H.L. (1996)
Hon. D.B. (2007)
Alma mater University of Utah
Brigham Young University
Spouse(s) Frances Beverly (Johnson) Monson
Children 3
Website
thomassmonson.org
LDS Church President
Ordained February 3, 2008 (aged 80)
Predecessor Gordon B. Hinckley
LDS Church Apostle
Called by David O. McKay
Ordained October 10, 1963 (aged 36)
Reason for ordination Death of Henry D. Moyle; N. Eldon Tanner added to First Presidency
LDS Church General Authority
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by David O. McKay
Start of term October 10, 1963 (aged 36)
End of term November 10, 1985 (aged 58)
End reason Called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term November 10, 1985 (aged 58)
End of term March 3, 1995 (aged 67)
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency upon the death of Howard W. Hunter
First Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Gordon B. Hinckley
Start of term March 12, 1995 (aged 67)
End of term January 27, 2008 (aged 80)
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency upon the death of Gordon B. Hinckley
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Start of term March 12, 1995 (aged 67)
End of term February 3, 2008 (aged 80)
End reason Became President of the Church
President of the Church
Start of term February 3, 2008 (aged 80)

Thomas Spencer Monson (born August 21, 1927) is the 16th and current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As president of the church, Monson is considered by adherents to be a prophet, seer, and revelator of God's will on earth. A printer by trade, Monson has spent most of his life engaged in various church leadership positions and in public service. Appointed by Ronald Reagan to the President's Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives, Monson is also a recipient of the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Buffalo and the World Organization of the Scout Movement's Bronze Wolf—both awards the highest given in each organization. Monson has received three honorary doctorates and serves as Chairman of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education of the Church Educational System.

Monson was ordained an apostle at age 36 and served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from March 12, 1995 until he became President of the Church.[1] He succeeded Gordon B. Hinckley as church president on February 3, 2008.[2]

Contents

Biography

Monson was born on August 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah to G. Spencer Monson (1901-1979) and Gladys Condie (1902-1973).[3] The second of six children, he grew up in a "tight-knit" family—many of his mother's relatives living on the same street and the extended family frequently going on trips together.[4] The family's neighborhood included several residents of Mexican descent, an environment in which he says he developed a love for the Mexican people.[5] Monson often spent weekends with relatives on their farms in Granger (now part of West Valley City), and as a teenager, Monson took a job at the printing business his father managed.[4]

From 1940 to 1944, Monson attended West High School in Salt Lake City. In the fall of 1944, he enrolled at the University of Utah. Around this time he met his future wife, Frances, whose family came from a higher social class on the east side of the city. Her father, Franz Johnson, felt an immediate connection because Monson's great uncle had baptized him into the LDS Church in Sweden.[4]

In 1945, at age 17, Monson joined the United States Naval Reserve and anticipated participating in World War II in the Pacific theater.[1] He was sent to San Diego, California but was not moved overseas before the end of the war. His tour of duty lasted six months beyond the end of the war, and after it was completed he returned to the University of Utah. Monson graduated cum laude in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in business management.[6] Monson did not serve a full-time mission as a youth and married at age 21.[7]

After college he rejoined the Naval Reserve with the aim of becoming an officer. Shortly after receiving his commission acceptance letter, his ward bishop asked him to serve as a counselor in the bishopric. Time conflicts with bishopric meetings would have made serving in the Navy impossible. After discussing things with church apostle Harold B. Lee, (his former stake president), Monson declined the commission and applied for a discharge. The Navy granted his discharge in the last group processed before the Korean War. Lee set him apart six months later as a bishop—mentioning in the blessing that he likely would not have been called if he had accepted the commission.[8][9]

Monson taught for a time at the University of Utah, then began a career in publishing. His first job was with the Deseret News, where he became an advertising executive. He joined the advertising operations of the Newspaper Agency Corporation when it was formed in 1952. On October 7, 1948, he married Frances Beverly Johnson in the Salt Lake Temple, and the couple eventually had three children: Thomas Lee, Ann Frances, and Clark Spencer. Monson later transferred to the Deseret News Press, beginning as sales manager and eventually becoming general manager.[10] While with Deseret News Press, Monson worked to publish LeGrand Richards's A Marvelous Work And A Wonder. He also worked with Gordon B. Hinckley, the LDS Church's representative on publications, with whom he later served in the First Presidency.

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Young adulthood and local church leadership

On May 7, 1950, Monson became an LDS bishop at age 22. He had previously served as ward clerk, ward YMMIA superintendent, and as a counselor in a bishopric.[10] At the time, Monson's Salt Lake City ward contained over 1,000 people, including 85 widows whom he visited regularly.[11] He continued his visits to these widows when he was released after five years of service. He brought them gifts during the Christmas season, including poultry he had raised himself.[12] Monson eventually spoke at the funerals of each of these women.[2]

At age 27, Monson became a counselor to a stake president in Salt Lake City, and he became a mission president at age 32. As mission president, he presided over the Canadian Mission of the LDS Church from 1959 to 1962, supervising church missionaries who were not much younger than he was. The Canadian Mission consisted of Ontario and Quebec; it was under the leadership of Monson that missionary work began among the French-speaking population of Quebec.[13]

Upon his return to Utah after his mission to Canada, Monson resumed his work with the Deseret News until he was called to be an apostle in 1963 at age 36—he was the youngest apostle in the church since Joseph Fielding Smith, who had become an apostle in 1910 at age 33. Prior to being called as an apostle, Monson held a few positions on church committees, including the Priesthood Home Teaching Committee.[10]

Monson, accompanied by Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, shakes hands with George W. Bush on May 29, 2008, in the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Apostleship

As an apostle of the LDS Church, Monson worked in many capacities all around the world. With his business background, he helped oversee many operations of the church including KSL Newsradio and Bonneville International. He was chair of the Scripture Publication Committee in the 1970s that oversaw publication of the LDS Church edition of the King James Bible and revised editions of LDS Church scriptures containing footnotes and guides. He has also overseen the church's Printing Advisory, Missionary Executive and General Welfare Committees. While an apostle, he continued his education and received his master of business administration degree from Brigham Young University in 1974.[10]

Monson also oversaw church operations in Eastern Europe and helped the church gain access to its members in the Soviet bloc. In 1982, he organized the first stake in East Germany and was instrumental in obtaining permission for the church to build a temple in Freiberg, East Germany, in 1985.[14]

First Presidency

Following the death of Church President Spencer W. Kimball in 1985, newly-installed church president Ezra Taft Benson asked Monson and Gordon B. Hinckley to serve as his second and first counselors, respectively. At age 58, Monson became the youngest member of a First Presidency since 44-year-old Rudger Clawson in 1901.

Monson and Hinckley also served as counselors to Benson's successor, Howard W. Hunter. When Hinckley succeeded Hunter in 1995, Monson became his first counselor. He served until Hinckley's death on January 27, 2008. As the second in seniority among the apostles behind Hinckley, Monson simultaneously served as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (Boyd K. Packer served as Acting President).[15]

Monson, accompanied by Apostle Dallin H. Oaks and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, delivers family history records to U.S. President Barack Obama

Church President

Monson became the 16th president of the LDS Church on February 3, 2008, succeeding Gordon B. Hinckley, who had died seven days earlier. Monson selected Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf as his first and second counselors, respectively.[2] When Monson was born, there were fewer than 650,000 members of the church in the world, with most of them being based in the western United States. When he became president, there were over 13 million members worldwide, with the majority of the membership living outside the United States and Canada.

As of October 2008, Monson has announced thirteen new temples.[16][17][18][19]

He and his counselors in the First Presidency met with President George W. Bush on May 29, 2008 during his visit to Salt Lake City.[20][21] He and apostle Dallin H. Oaks later met with Senator Harry Reid and President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on July 20, 2009, presenting Obama with five volumes of personal family history records.[22]

Legacy

Monson dedicated the Rexburg Idaho Temple on February 10, 2008.

Temple dedications

As President of the Church, Monson dedicated the Rexburg Idaho Temple on February 10, 2008, the Curitiba Brazil Temple on June 1, 2008, the Panamá City Panamá Temple on August 10, 2008, and the Twin Falls Idaho Temple on August 24, 2008. On November 16, 2008, Monson rededicated the Mexico City Mexico Temple, the Church's largest temple outside of the United States.[23][24][25][26]

In 2009, Monson presided over and offered the dedicatory prayer at the Draper Utah Temple on May 20, and did the same on August 21 in South Jordan, Utah, at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication.[27]

As a counselor in the First Presidency, Monson dedicated the Buenos Aires Argentina Temple in 1986. In 2000, he dedicated the Louisville Kentucky Temple, the Reno Nevada Temple, the Tampico México Temple, the Villahermosa México Temple, the Mérida México Temple and the Veracruz México Temple.[10] Monson also attended the dedication of many other church temples while a member of the Quorum of the Twelve and while in the First Presidency.

Volunteer work

Monson has continued to be active in community and civic affairs. He is past president of the Printing Industry of Utah and a former board member of the Printing Industries of America. A Life Scout and Explorer crew member in his youth, Monson has served in several adult Scouter leadership capacities: merit badge counselor, member of the Canadian LDS Scouting Committee, chaplain at a Canadian Jamboree, and a member of the General Scouting Committee of the LDS Church for ten years. He has been a proponent of the Scouting for Food drive, and since 1969, he has served on the national executive board of the Boy Scouts of America. He also represented the Boy Scouts of America as a delegate to the World Conferences in Tokyo, Nairobi and Copenhagen.[28]

He served on the Utah State Board of Regents. In December 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan appointed Monson to the President's Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives. He remained with the initiative until it completed its work in December 1982.[28]

Political activism

See Also: Proposition 8

In June 2008, Monson and the other members of the First Presidency sent a letter to local congregations in California, urging them to support Proposition 8 by donating their means and time.[29] Monson similarly signed a letter in 2000 regarding Proposition 22. More vocal criticism however, came in regards to Proposition 8.[citation needed]

Awards

Monson has received various awards related to his volunteer and educational involvement. In 1966, Monson was honored as a distinguished alumnus by the University of Utah.[30] His first honorary degree, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, was conferred upon him in April 1981 by Brigham Young University.[10] Subsequent honorary degrees include a Doctor of Humane Letters from Salt Lake Community College (June 1996) and an Honorary Doctor of Business from the University of Utah (May 2007).[1]

For his service to Scouting and the community, Monson has received the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Beaver Award (1971) as well as the Silver Buffalo Award (1978), which is the highest honor bestowed by the BSA. In 1993, Monson also received the Bronze Wolf, the highest honor and only award bestowed by the World Organization of the Scout Movement.[citation needed] His citation for this award (bestowed at the October 1993 Priesthood Session of General Conference) says, "In his assignments throughout the world as a leader of [the LDS Church], President Monson has worked tirelessly to bring about the advancement of Scouting in many countries. He has worked closely with the World Organization of the Scout Movement to find ways to strengthen the links between the Church and national Scout associations. He is a committed, solid, hard-working volunteer in the Scout Movement. His Scouting leadership has been exemplary."[28] The Salt Lake chapter of Rotary International also honored Monson at its international convention with its Worldwide Humanitarian Award.[10]

In Slate.com's "80 Over 80," a list of the most powerful octogenarians, Monson placed first in 2009.[31]

Works

Monson has written a number of books, some of which are compilations of speeches given by him, or of inspiring quotes. Others discuss particular LDS gospel themes.

  • Pathways to Perfection (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1973) ISBN 978-0-87747-511-8
  • Be Your Best Self (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1979) ISBN 978-0877477877
  • Christmas Gifts, Christmas Blessings (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1983) ISBN 978-0-87747-976-5
  • Favorite Quotations from the Collection of Thomas S. Monson (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1985) ISBN 978-0-87747-749-5
  • Live the Good Life (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1988) ISBN 978-0-87579-192-0
  • The Search for Jesus (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1992) ISBN 978-0-87579-669-7
  • Inspiring Experiences That Build Faith: From the Life and Ministry of Thomas S. Monson (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1994) ISBN 978-0-87579-901-8
  • Faith Rewarded: A Personal Account of Prophetic Promises to the East German Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1996) ISBN 978-1-57345-186-4
  • Invitation to Exaltation (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1997) ISBN 978-1-57345-358-5
  • Meeting your Goliath (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1997) ISBN 978-1-57345-357-8
  • A Christmas Dress for Ellen (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2004) ISBN 978-1-59038-386-5

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "President Thomas S. Monson". LDS Church. http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/background-information/leader-biographies/president-thomas-s-monson. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  2. ^ a b c "Thomas S. Monson Named 16th Church President". LDS Church. 2008-02-04. http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/thomas-s-monson-named-16th-church-president. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  3. ^ 2006 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News, 2005).
  4. ^ a b c Moore, Carrie A. (2008-02-04). "President Monson recalls influence of family on his life". Deseret Morning News. http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695250152,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  5. ^ LDS Church News, July 15, 2000, p. Z03
  6. ^ "Thomas Spencer Monson". History of Mormonism.com. http://www.historyofmormonism.com/Thomas%20Monson.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  7. ^ Holland, Jeffrey R. (October 1986). "President Thomas S. Monson: Always “on the Lord’s Errand”". Liahona Magazine. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=e1c50e46d0bdb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1. Retrieved 13 Jan 2009. 
  8. ^ Thomas S. Monson, Decisions, speech at Brigham Young University, February 6, 1977.
  9. ^ President Thomas S. Monson, A Supplement to the Ensign, June 2008 Ensign
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Monson Timeline". Deseret News. 2008-02-05. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695250351,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  11. ^ "Lost Battalions". Liahona Magazine. 1987-09-01. http://www.lds.org/pa/library/0,17905,4884-1,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  12. ^ Holland, Jeffrey R. (1994-10-04). "President Thomas S. Monson: Finishing the Course, Keeping the Faith". Liahona Magazine. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=cc1f2e4d12fdb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  13. ^ "President Monson Keeps Close Ties to Canada". LDS Church. 2008-02-11. http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/president-monson-keeps-close-ties-to-canada. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  14. ^ "President Thomas S. Monson: Additional Biographical Information". LDS Church. 2008-02-04. http://www.lds.org.uk/news_details.php?id=681. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  15. ^ "Thomas S. Monson". Grandpa Bill's G.A. Pages. http://gapages.com/monsots1.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  16. ^ "Mormon Temple Planned for Rome". Dallas News. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/nation/stories/100608dnlivtemple.43ee305.html. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  17. ^ Satterfield, Rick. "Gila Valley Arizona Temple". LDSchurchtemples.com. http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/gilavalley/. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  18. ^ Satterfield, Rick. "Gilbert Arizona Temple". LDSchurchtemples.com. http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/gilbert/. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  19. ^ Satterfield, Rick. "Phoenix Arizona Temple". LDSchurchtemples.com. http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/phoenix/http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/gilbert//. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  20. ^ "President Bush Meets With First Presidency". LDS Church. 2008-05-29. http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/president-bush-meets-with-first-presidency. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  21. ^ Draper, Eric (2008-05-29). "President George W. Bush greets Thomas Monson". The White House. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/05/images/20080529-2_utah-515h.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  22. ^ "President Monson meets with Obama". 2009-07-20. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705318077,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  23. ^ Moore, Carrie A. (2008-02-11). "LDS dedicate Rexburg Temple:President Monson prays for help in spreading faith". Deseret Morning News. http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695252115,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  24. ^ "President Monson presides, notes 'long-awaited day'". Mormontimes.com. 2008-06-01. http://mormontimes.com/WC_headquarters.php?id=1218. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  25. ^ Sarah Jane Weaver (2008-08-25). "Pres. Monson dedicates Twin Falls temple". Mormon Times. http://mormontimes.com/WC_aroundChurch.php?id=1893. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  26. ^ Swensen, Jason (2008-11-15). "Mexico City temple rededicated". Deseret News. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705263634,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  27. ^ "President Thomas S. Monson Dedicates Draper Utah Temple". Official LDS Newsroom. 2009-03-20. http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/president-thomas-s-monson-dedicates-draper-utah-temple. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  28. ^ a b c "Monson ready for presidential duties". The Salt Lake Tribune. February 6, 2008. http://www.sltrib.com/lds/ci_8095646. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  29. ^ "California and Same-Sex Marriage". http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/california-and-same-sex-marriage. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  30. ^ "University of Utah Distinguished Alumni Award past recipients" (PDF). University of Utah. http://www.alumni.utah.edu/awards/docs/Distinguished_Alumnus_past_recipients.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  31. ^ http://www.slate.com/id/2232918/

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
Gordon B. Hinckley
President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
February 3, 2008—
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Gordon B. Hinckley
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
March 3, 1995—February 3, 2008
Succeeded by
Boyd K. Packer
Preceded by
N. Eldon Tanner
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 4, 1963—February 3, 2008
Succeeded by
Boyd K. Packer

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Thomas Spencer Monson (1927-08-21) is the sixteenth and current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), a role he assumed on (2008-01-03).

Sourced

  • Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, "You cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven’t time to be concerned for others." Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the Lord. In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort from His promise: "Be not weary in well-doing. … Out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind."
    • Finding Peace, Ensign, Mar. 2004, 3
  • Amidst the confusion of the times, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives.
    • Speaking at a C.E.S. fireside and reported in the Church News
  • When you choose your friends with caution, plan your future with purpose, and frame your life with faith, you will merit the companionship of the Holy Spirit.
  • Several years ago my dear wife went to the hospital. She left a note behind for the children: "Dear children, do not let Daddy touch the microwave"—followed by a comma, "or the stove, or the dishwasher, or the dryer." I'm embarrassed to add any more to that list.
    • Abundantly Blessed, Sunday Afternoon Session of the 178th Annual General Conference [1]
  • Choose your love, Love your choice.
    • Hallmarks of a Happy Home, Ensign, Nov. 1988, 69
  • Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval.
  • Each heartfelt prayer, each Church meeting attended, each worthy friend, each righteous decision, each act of service perfomed all precede that goal of eternal life.
    • Church News, speaking at the November 6 Church Educational System fireside.
  • Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.
  • I acknowledge that I do not understand the processes of creation, but I accept the fact of it.
    • Ensign, February 2001
  • The wisdom of God oft times appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when god speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right.

Simple English

Thomas Spencer Monson (born August 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah) is the current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Monson became the 16th president of the church on February 3, 2008.[1] He was appointed on the basis of seniority following the death of the previous president, Gordon Hinckley.[1]

Monson was made an apostle at age 36 and served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until he became the President of the Church. As president of the church, Monson is said to be a prophet, seer, and revelator of God's will. Monson has spent most of his time engaged in various church leadership positions and also in public service.

He has received three honorary doctorates and serves as Chairman of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education of the Church Educational System. He was also appointed by Ronald Reagan to the President's Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives. Monson is a recipient of the Boy Scouts of America's Silver Buffalo and the World Organization of the Scout Movement's Bronze Wolf—both awards the highest given in each organization.

References


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