Pres. Monson radiates 'pure love of Christ'

In the foreword to one of President Thomas S. Monson's books, Be Your Best Self, President Spencer W. Kimball stated: "As an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Elder Monson is filled with the pure love of Christ, and he radiates this to others. People love him because he loves them. His witness to the world is one of love and understanding."

Since then, President Monson has fulfilled many years of service in love and understanding as a member of the First Presidency. He continues in that calling as second counselor to President Howard W. Hunter.One of the remarkable things about President Monson is the young age at which he was called to demonstrate that love for others in leadership positions in the Church. At age 22 he was called as a bishop, at age 27 as a member of a stake presidency and at age 31 as a mission president.

Then in October 1963, at age 36, he was called by President David O. McKay to the Council of the Twelve, and 22 years later, at age 58, he was called to be second counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson in November 1985.

His broad smile and enthusiastic mannerisms have become well known through the addresses he delivers. Listeners often have their emotions touched when he speaks as he draws on his personal experiences with members of the Church.

One of the interests President Benson and President Monson shared was a deep love for the Scouting program. Among honors they both received was the Bronze Wolf, the highest award given in international Scouting. Chief Scout executive Jere B. Ratcliffe, when he presented the award to President Monson in the priesthood session of October 1993 general conference, said that President Monson was the longest-tenured member of the National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America, where he serves on the International Committee.

After receiving the Bronze Wolf, President Monson said: "In this world where some misguided men and women strive to tear down and destroy great movements such as Scouting, I am pleased to stand firm for an organization that teaches duty to God and country, that embraces the Scout Law. Yes, an organization whose motto is Be prepared' and whose slogan isDo a good turn daily.' "

Growing up in Salt Lake City, he learned the printing trade. He combined that experience with a degree in business management from the University of Utah, where he graduated cum laude, and an MBA from BYU. He has served as general manager of Deseret Press and chairman of the board of the Deseret News Publishing Co., a position he still holds.

In 1981, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from BYU.

President Monson was chosen by President Ronald Reagan to serve as a member of President Reagan's Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives. He has served as a director in a number of prominent business firms.


President Monson

Born Aug. 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson.

Served in U.S. Navy toward the end of World War II.

Married Frances Beverly Johnson, Oct. 7, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple; parents of three children.

Called as bishop in 1950 at age 22; counselor in stake presidency in 1955 at age 27; mission president in 1959 at age 31.

Ordained an apostle, Oct. 10, 1963, at age 36.

Set apart as second counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson, Nov. 10, 1985.

Set apart as second counselor to President Howard W. Hunter, June 5, 1994.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed