Tributes to President Monson Pour in from Public Figures
Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
Tributes to President Thomas S. Monson on the occasion of his passing on Tuesday, January 2, have come from representatives of government, civic organizations, religious groups, and others. Following is a selection of comments:
President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who served as counselors to President Thomas S. Monson:
“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 multifaceted 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:
“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 10 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” (see Matthew 25:21).”
U.S. President Donald J. Trump:
“Melania and I are deeply saddened by the death of Thomas S. Monson, a beloved President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While serving for over half a century in the leadership of his church, President Monson demonstrated wisdom, inspired leadership, and great compassion. Considered a prophet by the nearly 16 million members of the LDS Church, his message was one of optimism, forgiveness, and faith. Our thoughts and prayers are with his three children and the rest of the Monson family.”
Former U.S. presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (via Facebook):
“Thomas S. Monson walked where Jesus walked, lifting the downtrodden, comforting the wounded, healing the sick, brightening the lives of the lonely at heart. More even than his words of strength and inspiration, he will be remembered for the abundance of his love and the overflowing of his compassion for every one of God’s children. Ann and I and our family join the widows and orphans and homeless and countless others who today mourn the life of a true prophet of God and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert (via Twitter):
“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 about all people as children of God. His influence for good will be felt for years to come.”
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah (Speaking from the floor of the United States Senate):
“President Monson’s example of intimate individual ministry underscored what was most remarkable about his leadership. Although he presided over a church of millions, his focus was always on the one. Although tasked with making administrative decisions affecting thousands of people the world over, his lifelong commitment was to serving individuals in need. Although an expert manager, he was first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ, a man of a remarkable kindness, unwavering love, and preternatural empathy.
He was quoted as saying, “President Monson was among the greatest men I have ever known. Service was his motto and humility his hallmark. Countless were the lives he touched as a prophet, father and friend. He emulated Jesus Christ in every particular, helping all of us draw closer to God by drawing all of us closer to each other. I’m so grateful for the life of my dear friend and for the example he left for everyone to follow.”
U.S. Senator Mike Lee from Utah (via his website):
“President Thomas S. Monson was a dedicated disciple who spent almost eight decades in the service of his fellow men and his God. He was a strong advocate for Christlike love and the principle of eternal families, and his years as prophet were marked by a massive expansion of the missionary system and the temple network. He led by example, and his messages of love, redemption, and optimism will continue to inspire and shape those he leaves behind, both in and outside the Church. My prayers and the prayers of many others are with him and his family today.”
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona (speaking from the floor of the United States Senate):
“There’s much that can be said about what President Monson taught us from the pulpit. There is much more to be learned about what he did when he wasn’t speaking: the sick that he visited, the weary he sustained, the jobless he aided, and the homeless he sheltered.
“Throughout his life, President Monson went ‘to the rescue’ of those in need. He possessed a genuine love for those who are sad, downtrodden, and less fortunate.
He was quoted as saying, 'I firmly believe that the sweetest experience in mortality is to know that our Heavenly Father has worked through us to accomplish an objective in the life of another person.' This he took to heart.
U.S. Representative John Curtis from Utah (via Twitter):
“Saddened to wake up to the news that LDS Church President Monson has passed away. He was a dedicated servant of the Lord and we are all better for his leadership.”
U.S. Representative Mia Love from Utah (via Twitter):
“I give thanks for the life and example set by Pres. Thomas Monson. His tireless, charitable service, cheerful demeanor, love of others, and ministry touched millions of lives. He provided inspiration for Latter-Day Saints throughout the world. God bless him and his family.”
U.S. Representative Rob Bishop from Utah:
“President Monson’s service to Utah, the LDS Church, and the world is without equal. He will be greatly missed, and his influence will be felt for generations to come. I am heartened by the belief that his passing leads to a divine reunion with his wife, Frances. My thoughts today are with his family and the millions throughout the world in mourning.”
Former U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz from Utah:
“My heart is filled with love for Pres. Monson. He touched countless lives, including my own, in a positive and sweet manner influencing good throughout the world.”
Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox:
“Like most of you, we are just waking up to this news. His life was a symphony of service and sacrifice—a legacy that will never be forgotten. God be with you till we meet again.”
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (via Twitter):
“I love President Monson & will miss him. His life was a living illustration of individual ministry to the lonely & downtrodden. His example has always moved me to come to the rescue of those in need & to lift those who are weary.”
University of Utah (via Twitter):
“Saddened to learn of the passing of President Thomas S. Monson. Our condolences go out to the Monson family. We’re proud to call President Monson an alumnus, as well as a past faculty member. His legacy of service & good deeds is something we should all strive toward.”
BYU (via Facebook):
“With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to President Monson. His life was filled with so much selfless service that included our campus. ‘Til we meet again.’”
Utah Valley University (via Facebook):
“Presidentwas a genuine friend of Utah Valley University. We join in expressing our condolences at his passing.
“As he said at our commencement in 2009, ‘Will you follow the guideposts, will you glance backward, reach outward, and press forward? The choice is yours. Your future is bright.’ He will be missed.”
Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber:
“The state of Utah has lost a great leader. President Monson’s influence has far exceeded his religious responsibilities, stewardship, and love for the Latter-day Saints around the world.
“He is truly a friend of all people. His willingness to work with all leaders and religions in the State of Utah has set him apart as a giant in our community. His love, compassion, and empathy have strengthened our entire state. His influence has added to the quality of life, economic development, and personal example that so many of us in Utah have benefited. He has spent his life in service to us all.”
Oscar A. Solis, Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City:
“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.”
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism based in Nevada, called President Monson a great humanitarian who collaborated with other religions and denominations worldwide on programs aimed at improving the human condition. He said President Monson was instrumental in the expansion of the Church’s disaster relief projects worldwide, openness to Mormonism scholars, and greatly raising the number of young women missionaries.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski:
“President Monson’s values … 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.”
Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Salt Lake chapter:
“President Monson was a very kind and caring individual and leaves a great legacy.” Williams said that there will be quotes remembered by President Monson but one that she will remember is “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”
Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes:
“I was saddened to learn that President Thomas Monson has passed away. While we mourn the loss of an exceptional man, we also honor his remarkable life that he dedicated to serving others. When he spoke, people all over Utah, the country, and the world listened. He truly understood that when you are in the service of your fellow man you are in the service of God. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and members of the LDS Church during this time.”
The Utah Jazz professional basketball team observed a moment of silence before Wednesday night’s game against New Orleans in honor of President Monson.
The Jazz released this statement about the longtime fan of the NBA team:
“The Larry and Gail Miller Family and the Utah Jazz organization express their heartfelt sympathy at the passing of President Thomas S. Monson. His lifelong service and his impact on the world will always be remembered. He was an example of pure service, always looking after those in need, including our family as he provided comfort by visiting Larry, another West High boy, many times during his long illness.
“We are honored to have had a close relationship with him and will miss him. The Jazz will honor President Monson, a loyal fan, with a moment of silence before tonight’s game as a tribute to his leadership through the years.”