General Authority Wives Express Thoughts on Sister Monson
By Gerry Avant, Church News editor
The Church News invited four women whose husbands have served as General Authority colleagues of President Thomas S. Monson to share thoughts about Sister Frances J. Monson.
Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, wife of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency:
My husband and I have many special memories of President and Sister Monson’s visits to Germany over the years. One time we accompanied them on a very rainy day in Dresden to visit the burial place of a missionary. In spite of the terrible weather, she had a radiance of goodness about her. I was always impressed with the way Sister Monson complimented her husband and supported him in every way. However, I also noticed that she was a wonderful person in her own right. I have enjoyed listening to her as she shared her opinions and experiences. We will miss her friendship, her beautiful smile, and her kind spirit.
Sister Donna S. Packer, wife of President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve:
Sister Monson was an ideal example of a devoted wife and mother. She understood the gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of her husband’s calling. She stood ready to assist him in any way. She was quiet and unassuming but ever ready to participate in meetings and do what was required. She loved associating with the wives of the General Authorities, especially the international sisters. On one occasion, we traveled with the Monsons to South America for a temple dedication. We spent a number of hours delayed in the airport and arrived almost late for the dedication, but Sister Monson was patient through all the stress of travel. We send our deepest condolences to the Monson family.
The wives of the members of the First Presidency, Sister Frances J. Monson (left), Sister Kathleen J. Eyring (middle), and Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf (right), attend an event. Photo by Craig Dimond, © IRI.
Sister Barbara B. Ballard, wife of Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve:
On several occasions, Russ and I have been with President and Sister Monson in Toronto. It was always a pleasure to see how the Canadian Saints loved Frances and how she was always so pleased to be with them and to speak to them. Ever a lovely and gracious woman, Frances seemed particularly relaxed and at home among the Canadian Saints.
Sister Patricia T. Holland, wife of Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve:
Sister Monson was a gentle, caring friend. She reached out to encourage me with occasional phone calls from the time my husband was serving as president of BYU until the occasion of his call to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve. I was honored to be her companion while our husbands took a little time off to go fishing. She was so unassuming with me and quite open about how she managed to care for her husband by protecting his energies with talent, intelligence, and efficiency. Though others may describe her as reserved, I saw her as a strong, self-disciplined, independent woman of wisdom and faith. I believe she knew in the first years of her marriage that her husband was divinely destined to serve in the Church, and she deliberately chose to hold back a little so that her husband’s light could shine much more broadly and without borders. I admired her deeply for her choice to be beautifully modest and selfless. I know of no woman who had greater faith in her Savior, Jesus Christ, and His ability to bless, heal, and teach every child of God. It stands to reason that it was because of these strengths and beliefs that she was chosen to be the wife of a prophet who will always be remembered for his arms outstretched to everyone.