Thomas S. Monson — biography

Family: Born Aug. 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City to G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson; two brothers and three sisters; married Frances Beverly Johnson in the Salt Lake Temple on Oct. 7, 1948; three children: two sons, Tom and Clark; one daughter, Ann Dibb; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Church service: Called at age 22 as bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in Salt Lake City, with some 1,080 members, including 84 widows; called as counselor in a stake presidency at age 27; called as president of the Canadian Mission at age 31; served on several Church committees, including the Adult Correlation Committee where he helped pioneer the home teaching program of the Church; called on Oct. 3, 1963, at age 36 to Quorum of the Twelve. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, he supervised the missions in western America, the South Pacific, Mexico and Central America, and supervised the work in Europe. After a number of years and following the policy of rotation, the European missions were transferred to another member of the Twelve; however, Elder Monson retained responsibility for all countries behind the Iron Curtain. He was instrumental in the construction of the Freiberg Germany Temple, served as chairman of the Scriptures Publications Committee and supervised the process which resulted in new editions of the Standard Works of the Church. Called on Nov. 10, 1985, as second counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson; called in 1994 as second counselor to President Howard W. Hunter and in 1995 as first counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley; set apart on Feb. 3, 2008, as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Education: Graduated from the University of Utah in 1948 with a degree in business; received an MBA from Brigham Young University, and received honorary Doctor of Laws degree from BYU, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Salt Lake Community College and honorary Doctor of Business from the University of Utah.

Employment: Began working for Deseret News in 1948 as assistant classified advertising manager; shortly thereafter he became advertising manager; he became an officer of Newspaper Agency Corporation in 1952, and was named assistant general manager of Deseret News Press in 1953; served as president of the printing industry in Utah and later served as a director of the Printing Industries of America; named general manager of Deseret Press upon returning home from Canada.

Civic: Has spent nearly four decades on the National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America; received Scouting's Silver Beaver and Silver Buffalo awards; recipient of International Scouting's highest award, the Bronze Wolf. In December 1981 President Monson was appointed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to serve on the President's Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives. He served in this capacity until December 1982, when the work of the task force was completed.

Military Service: In 1945-1946, U.S. Naval Reserve.

President Thomas S. Monson applies mortar during the cornerstone ceremony of the Curitiba Brazil Tem
President Thomas S. Monson applies mortar during the cornerstone ceremony of the Curitiba Brazil Temple dedication on June 1, 2008. | Photo by Gerry Avant
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