Elder Thomas Spencer Monson was set apart as the First Counselor in the First Presidency and President of the Quorum of the Twelve on March 12, 1995. President Monson had served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency since 1985, under Presidents Ezra Taft Benson and Howard W. Hunter. He was ordained an Apostle in 1963.
President Monson was born August 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in 1948. After serving in the United States Navy toward the end of World War II, President Monson began working for the advertising division of the Deseret News. He was general manager of Deseret News Press at the time of his call to the Quorum of the Twelve.
He married his wife, Frances, in 1948, and they have three children.
“Remember, my young friends, you are somebody! You are a child of promise. You are … endowed with faith, gifted with courage, and guided by prayer. Your eternal destiny is before you” (Ensign, May 1989, p. 43).
Elder James Esdras Faust, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve since 1978, was set apart as Second Counselor in the First Presidency under President Gordon B. Hinckley on March 12, 1995. A native of Delta, Utah, President Faust has been a General Authority since October of 1972. He served as an Assistant to the Twelve until 1976, when he was called as a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
President Faust was born July 31, 1920. He served a mission in Brazil, and later served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. After earning his law degree from the University of Utah, he practiced law in the Salt Lake City area until his appointment as a General Authority.
He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of three sons and two daughters.
“I am well aware that the world in which you live will be vastly different from the one I have known. … A moral blackness is settling in. You are in many ways the hope of the future, and I remind you that valuable diamonds shine better against a dark background” (Broadcast, Sept. 5, 1993, Young Adult Fireside).
Elder Boyd Kenneth Packer, who has served as Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since June of 1994, was called to that same position by President Gordon B. Hinckley on March 12, 1995. President Packer was called as a General Authority in 1961, and was ordained an Apostle in April of 1970.
President Packer was born September 10, 1924, in Brigham City, Utah. He was a pilot in World War II, and graduated from Utah State University. He received post-graduate degrees from Utah State and Brigham Young University. He worked as an educator during his career, serving as supervisor of the Church’s Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. He later was named to BYU’s Administrative Council.
President Packer and his wife, Donna, are the parents of ten children.
“It is my conviction that your generation is better and stronger than was ours—better in many ways! I have faith that you young men and young women can meet the world on its own terms and conquer it!” (Ensign, May 1989, p. 54).