New Experience

President Thomas S. Monson

Thomas Spencer Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away on January 2, 2018, at the age of 90.

President Monson smiling
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President Monson kissing the top of an elderly woman's head
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“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.”

Watch his first general conference address At age 36, Thomas S. Monson was the youngest to be called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 53 years.

“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.

young Thomas Monson as a boy
Young Tommy Monson, the oldest son of G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson.

Humble Beginnings

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.

Monson family picture
Young Monson family of Ann, Tom, Clark, Thomas S., and Frances Monson in the 1960s.
President Monson and Sister Monson
President Thomas S. Monson and Sister Frances Monson traveled and served together as companions for nearly 65 years before her passing in 2013.

“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
Biographer Heidi Swinton relates a story from President Thomas S. Monson’s biography.

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.

President Monson shaking a young boy's hand at conference
President Thomas S. Monson shakes hands with a boy at the Saturday afternoon session of general conference, October 5, 2013.

“‘Love thy neighbor’ is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection.”

Thomas S. Monson
President Monson with members in Haiti
“I know that the sweetest experience in all this life is to feel His promptings as He directs us in the furtherance of His work.” —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.