Breaking: LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson dead at 90

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Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dead at age 90. Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 3, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday night that Thomas S. Monson, the president and prophet of the LDS Church, has died.

Monson, 90, passed away at 10:01 p.m., according to the news release.

He was in his home in Salt Lake City, surrounded by his family.

A brief news release from Eric Hawkins, Church spokesperson said, “With tender feelings we announce that Thomas S. Monson, president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died this evening at 10:01 pm in his home in Salt Lake City. He was with family at the time of his passing. He died at age 90 from causes incident to age.”

The Church’s statement was followed by an article on reflecting on President Monson’s history as a revered leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The article is as follows:

To the more than 16 million members of the Church around the world, President Monson was an example of one who followed Jesus Christ.

“He loved the cultures of the world, and deeply respected them. And particularly the faith of the people,” said President Henry B. Eyring, who served as first counselor in the First Presidency.

While he served in important Church leadership positions throughout his life, he also ministered quietly to thousands of individuals in homes, hospitals and care centers. “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved,” President Monson taught.

“When I look at his life, he was a member of the Church everyone could relate to and everyone could feel comfortable in his presence,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency. “At the same time, when he walked with kings, with prime ministers, with presidents, with representatives of nations, it was the same way. They all felt that he was their friend.”

During his presidency Church membership grew from 13 million to more than 16 million members worldwide, and dozens of new temples were announced and dedicated throughout the world. 

President Eyring added, “I don’t think it ever was the idea that he thought himself a great temple builder. It was that he saw the blessing of having temples everywhere, and he wanted it for the people.”

In October 2012, President Monson announced a change to the age requirements for missionaries, which resulted in tens of thousands more missionaries serving throughout the world, impacting the lives of millions.

President Monson dedicated his life to serving in the Church. He became the 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 3, 2008, following the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley. Prior to that, he served as a counselor in the First Presidencyunder three Church presidents for over 22 years.

“He’s really the one who’s concerned about the rescue of the one,” said President Uchtdorf, who served as President Monson’s second counselor in the First Presidency. “He is one who walked through the world looking for opportunities where he could serve individuals.”

“When Thomas S. Monson came into the First Presidency or when he became the prophet, I don’t think he missed a beat, or changed his style or pattern one iota in terms of reaching out to the one,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said. “It’s still very much his style and his pattern; it has been all of his life.”

Thomas S. Monson was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 4, 1963, and ordained an apostle on October 10, 1963, at the age of 36. He also served as president of the Church’s Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, from 1959 to 1962. Prior to that time, he served in the presidency of the Temple View Stake in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as a bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in that stake.

Thomas S. Monson was born in Salt Lake City on August 21, 1927, to G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson. He attended Salt Lake City public schools and graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in 1948, receiving a degree in business management. He did graduate work and served as a member of the College of Business faculty at the University of Utah. He later received his MBA degree from Brigham Young University. In April 1981, Brigham Young University conferred upon President Monson the degree of doctor of laws, honoris causa. He was given the honorary degree doctor of humane letters by Salt Lake Community College in June 1996 and an honorary doctor of business from the University of Utah in May 2007.

President Monson served in the United States Navy near the close of World War II. He married Frances Beverly Johnson on October 7, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of three children, with eight grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Frances Monson passed away on May 20, 2013. Of her passing, President Monson later said, “She was the love of my life, my trusted confidant, and my closest friend. To say that I miss her does not begin to convey the depth of my feelings.”

Professionally, President Monson had a distinguished career in publishing and printing. He became associated with the Deseret News in 1948, where he served as an executive in the advertising division of that newspaper and the Newspaper Agency Corporation. Later he was named sales manager of the Deseret News Press, one of the West’s largest commercial printing firms, rising to the position of general manager, which position he held at the time of his appointment to the Quorum of the Twelve in 1963. He served for many years as chairman of the board of Deseret News Publishing Co. President Monson was president of Printing Industry of Utah and a former member of the board of directors of Printing Industries of America.

Beginning in 1969 President Monson served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. He received Scouting’s highest awards given for extraordinary leadership and service. In 2016, ground was broken at a Scouting facility in Glen Jean, West Virginia for the new Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex.

President Monson held membership in the Utah Association of Sales Executives, the Salt Lake Advertising Club and the Salt Lake Exchange Club.

For many years, President Monson served as a member of the Utah State Board of Regents, the body that governs higher education in the state of Utah. He also served as an officer in the Alumni Association of the University of Utah.

In December 1981, President Monson was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the President’s Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives. He served in this capacity until December 1982, when the work of the task force was completed.

President Monson was awarded the University of Utah’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1966. He was also the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America’s Silver Beaver Award (1971), its prestigious Silver Buffalo Award (1978) and international Scouting’s highest award, the Bronze Wolf (1993). In 1997 he received the Minuteman Award from the Utah National Guard, as well as Brigham Young University’s Exemplary Manhood Award. In 1998, he and Sister Monson were each given the Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award by the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph Villa.

The following statement is from the members of the First Presidency of the LDS Church:

President Thomas S. Monson was a mighty Prophet of God and we are honored to have served by his side these past 10 years. His far-reaching and multi-faceted ministry touched the lives of people from all walks of life in remarkable ways. As a result, President Monson’s legacy will continue to be an influence for good in the lives of countless individuals and families for generations to come. To his family, we extend our most sincere condolences and love.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued this statement:

We, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unitedly express our sincere sense of loss at the passing of President Thomas Spencer Monson. He was our prophet, our leader, our brother, and our dear friend.

President Monson lived an exceptional life of service. He served as an apostle for more than 54 years, the last ten years of which were as the President of the Church. From his earliest days of Church service to the very end of his faithful ministry, he never failed to bear witness, in word and deed, of the truth of the restored gospel and of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We will miss his wisdom, his leadership, his meaningful example, and his loving kindness. However, we rejoice in his reunion with his beloved Frances, with other family members who have gone before, and with the prophets of God who preceded him in death, with whom he now stands. As his fellow servants, we echo the words of the Master, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued this statement:

Jeanette and I join millions of people around the world in mourning the death of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson. His life was a sermon of service. He cared for all people as children of God. The state of Utah and its citizens are better people because of his example of kindness, his personal ministry and his visionary leadership.

While serving as the lay leader of his inner-city LDS congregation at a very young age, Thomas Monson learned to serve those who struggled with life’s challenges, especially the many widows in his neighborhood. That meaningful one-on-one service set him on his lifelong pathway of compassionate leadership that will endure in all of our hearts.

Throughout my years of public service it has been a distinct privilege to associate with President Monson and his sweet wife Frances. They became dear friends and mentors to our family. His legacy of service, compassion and unwavering love for all of God’s children will be felt for generations to come.

As we celebrate President Thomas S. Monson’s remarkable life, let us remember his focus on the one — his admonition to serve the individuals around us — recognizing that even the smallest actions can lift lives and brighten our world.

Our prayers are with President Monson’s family and friends as they mourn his passing.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski issued the following statement:

I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of President Thomas S. Monson. Over the past few years, as Salt Lake City has dealt with critical issues, most notably homelessness, the LDS Church has responded with a high level of compassion and resolve set clearly by President Monson and his deep concern for those less fortunate. We have lost a dedicated partner to the Capitol City and he will be missed.

President Monson’s values also guided the LDS Church, and set a high moral standard, as to how we will treat immigrants and refugees both inside and outside our borders. I believe his example has helped to ensure Salt Lake City and Utah will always be seen as welcoming places. 

My thoughts and prayers are with President Monson’s family, and members of the LDS Church, as they grieve the loss of their family member and leader.



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