“We are the Lord's hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”Thomas S. Monson
Dedicated Servant of the Lord
On October 16, 1963, Thomas Spencer Monson, age 36, stood at the pulpit in the Salt Lake Tabernacle at general conference. Newly called to lifelong service as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the youngest in 53 years, he bore testimony, saying, “I know that God lives, my brothers and sisters. There is no question in my mind. I know that this is His work.”
“The Sweetest Experience in Life”
His life, not just his years of service in the highest quorums of the Church, were marked by his constant attention to those in need. For more than 50 years, President Monson reached out to rescue the lonely, bereft, unnoticed, and unrecognized. He gave the clothes off his back and the shoes off his feet; he spent countless hours with widows and those in care centers and hospitals; he gave comfort and encouragement to those discouraged, lacking faith, or far from home; he shared his cheerful nature with anyone in his path; and to the delight of youth, he wiggled his ears. Read more.
Thomas Spencer Monson was born on August 21, 1927, the first son and second child of G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson. He grew up on the west side of Salt Lake City, Utah, during the Great Depression. President Monson would be the first to admit that he was a typical boy and that his boyhood good deeds coexisted with a mischievous streak that sometimes led to a scolding. Read his life story.
“He was beloved by members and nonmembers alike for his true Christlike living. In His ministry, Jesus of Nazareth ‘went about doing good, … for God was with him.’ President Monson took that example to heart and did the same.”Heidi Swinton, Biographer
Teachings of a Prophet
President Monson often shared personal stories to teach important principles in general conference. Visit a collection of past general conference addresses given by President Monson.
“‘Love thy neighbor’ is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection.”Thomas S. Monson
Facts at a Glance
- Born August 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
- Served in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
- Studied business at the University of Utah.
- Married Frances Johnson on October 7, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple.
- Called to be a bishop at age 22, a counselor in the stake presidency at age 27, and a mission president in Canada at age 31.
- Became an Apostle in 1963 at age 36—the youngest Apostle called since 1910.
- Earned a master’s degree in business administration while serving as an Apostle.
- Served as a counselor in the First Presidency for 22 years.
- Set apart and ordained as the 16th President of the Church on February 3, 2008.