President Thomas S. Monson
President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
February 4, 2008
**UPDATED** January 4, 2018
Salt Lake City -- Thomas S. Monson is the 16th President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died on January 2, 2018, at the age of 90. President Monson succeeded President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died on January 27, 2008 at the age of 97. President Monson's First Presidency included Elder Henry B. Eyring as First Counselor, and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Second Counselor.
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. 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. He also oversaw the expansion of the church's global humanitarian aid and welfare programs.
President Monson was a strong proponent of interfaith cooperation for advancing humanitarian efforts. Rev. Oscar Solis, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, paid tribute to President Monson, saying, "He joyfully served his church and the broader community selflessly and humbly for many years. The President has been a good friend and supporter in our mutual efforts to support the common good and care for the most vulnerable both at home and abroad. Catholic Community Services as well as the Good Samaritan Program have benefited from his commitment to the poor. For President Monson, the Sermon on the Mount was not just a platitude but a way of life. President Monson was an advocate of unity and believed in the goodness of each person. He embraced people regardless of faith, seeing in them the image of Jesus. His was a "human" touch of kindness and dignity that will long be treasured."
And Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman, Congregation Kol Ami, wrote, " We were blessed to have had a strong relationship with President Monson and appreciate all that he did with and for our community. He was an advocate for interfaith conversation and cooperation. We pray that the church will go from strength to strength, and that those who continue in leading the LDS Church will maintain solid ties with the Jewish community in general and Kol Ami specifically."
President Thomas S. Monson had served as a Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since November 10, 1985. He had served as First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley since March 12, 1995. Prior to that, on June 5, 1994, he was called as Second Counselor to President Howard W. Hunter, and on November 10, 1985, as Second Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson. He was ordained an Apostle and called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 4, 1963, at the age of 36, making him the youngest man called to the quorum in the 20th Century.
President Monson 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. He served as a bishop, at age 21, of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in that stake, where he oversaw the care of over 80 widows.
Born in Salt Lake City, on August 21, 1927, President Monson is the son of 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. He is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, an honorary business fraternity.
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. They have eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Professionally, President Monson has 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 is a past president of Printing Industry of Utah and a former member of the board of directors of Printing Industry of America.
With his broad business background, President Monson served for many years as a board member of several prominent businesses and industries. He currently serves as a trustee of Brigham Young University and the Church Board of Education.
Since 1969 President Monson has served as a member of the National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America.
President Monson has 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 which 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 is 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.
President Monson was formally sustained by the general membership of the church during a Solemn Assembly in April 2008 at the 178th Annual General Conference.