Nineteen-year-old Monte Brough was working in a grocery store in Alaska when his nonmember uncle drove up in a new car. The uncle, who owned the chain of stores Monte worked in, offered to give him the car if he would stay in Alaska and work for him instead of going on a mission. “He offered to make me part of his business and promised me that I would be financially successful if I remained in Alaska and worked for him,” Elder Brough recalls.
It wasn’t an easy decision. He spent three uncomfortable days trying to make up his mind—and chose the mission. “I knew that I had a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that a mission had to be the right choice,” he says.
Monte James Brough was born on 11 June 1939 in Randolph, Utah, to Richard Muir Brough and Gwendolyn Kearl Brough. Richard died when Monte was a baby, leaving Gwen with four young children to support. But her job paid little, and the children worked at odd jobs to earn extra money.
Monte gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon while he was in Alaska working. “I responded to Moroni’s challenge,” he recalls, “and received my absolute witness.” That experience, his mother’s hopes, and the “missionary tradition” of his Randolph ward led him to decline his uncle’s offer and enter the mission field.
Elder Brough’s mission built his self-confidence. Until then, he had suffered from a poor self-image—the result of a limp caused by a birth defect aggravated by a childhood injury. When he was called to be a special counselor in the mission, he wanted to decline. But the mission president, Grant Thorn, taught him a quote from Henry Ford, which profoundly impressed the young elder: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
After his first mission, in August 1962, Elder Brough married Lanette Barker from Hilliard, Wyoming, in the Idaho Falls Temple. In 1965 he graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in math education. He worked in the computer department of one large company for some time, and then took a job recruiting new employees for another large company. That led to positions in management and sales, and Elder Brough eventually formed his own company, which sold computer services and systems to transport companies.
From 1978 to 1981, he served as president of the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission. Those years made a great impression on the Brough’s seven children. The Brough’s oldest son has served a mission and married in the temple, and their oldest daughter was in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, at the time of her father’s recent call.
Sister Brough feels that one strength her husband brings to his new calling is enthusiasm. “He loves missionary work—not just in the field, but in everyday life,” she says. He has also served as a bishop and a member of the Young Men General Board. He was serving as a Regional Representative at the time of his new call.
Elder Brough is currently finishing a Ph.D. in business management—which he has found to be a challenge. “At times I’d say to myself, ‘Why are you doing this?’” he says. “I think I now know why—because it required me to discipline myself again, in both my use of time and my study habits.”
He is determined to be a good father. “My children are my hobby,” he says. The Broughs enjoy traveling, the outdoors, boating, and waterskiing. Of his other “hobby”—church work—he says, “My testimony is absolute, without doubt. I have a strong, fervent witness that Jesus Christ is he who he claimed to be. With every year and every experience, it grows in depth and in perspective.”