“The first day I saw Frances, I knew I’d found the right one,” said President Thomas S. Monson in describing their courtship.1 That knowledge was confirmed over and over during Frances Beverly Johnson Monson’s lifetime of service with and support for her husband.
Her mortal life ended on May 17, 2013, when Sister Monson, 85, passed away peacefully of causes incident to age.
Although she never called attention to herself, Sister Monson often accompanied President Monson on visits to the elderly and to those with poor health. She was a source of strength to him when he was called as a bishop at a young age, and she served alongside him when he presided over the Canadian Mission from 1959 to 1962. Her sustaining service continued as her beloved “Tommy” was called as a General Authority and as he served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in the First Presidency, and as President of the Church.
“She dearly loved my father and recognized his talents and the gifts that he’d been given and took pleasure in supporting him and helping him magnify the talents that were his,” said Ann Monson Dibb, their daughter.2
Born on October 27, 1927, Frances was the daughter of Franz E. Johnson and Hildur Booth Johnson. She married Thomas S. Monson in the Salt Lake Temple on October 7, 1948. She served in Relief Society and Primary callings, was a gifted musician, had a great sense of humor, and most of all loved being a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
Sister Dibb described her mother as “always one to listen and to maybe just offer a few words of what she would do if she were in that same situation. … Her constant example … became the greatest influence in my life. There was never a question as to what she believed, what she would do, what she expected others to do. She exemplified what you should be as a Latter-day Saint, as a Christian.”3
“I have never known Frances to complain once of my Church responsibilities,” President Monson said. He described her as “a woman of quiet and profoundly powerful faith.”4
Thomas S. Monson, “Abundantly Blessed,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2008, 111.
Ann M. Dibb, in “Frances J. Monson, Wife of President Thomas S. Monson, Passes Away” (May 17, 2013), mormonnewsroom.org.
Ann M. Dibb, in “Frances Monson: Through the Eyes of Daughter, Ann Monson Dibb” (Mormon Times video, May 12, 2013), ksl.com.
Thomas S. Monson, quoted in Jeffrey R. Holland, “President Thomas S. Monson: In the Footsteps of the Master,” supplement to the Liahona, June 2008, 8.