'I will always remember the wiggly ears:' Church members react to prophet's death

Since hearing of President Thomas S. Monson’s death, Church members around the world have taken to social media to remember their beloved prophet. Whether it be an experience, a favorite talk, a picture, a quote or story from his life, members young and old have shared how President Monson has impacted their lives.

President Monson’s two counselors in the First Presidency, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, also shared their thoughts regarding the life and ministry of their friend and colleague, President Thomas S. Monson.

Describing President Monson as “a great, great soul,” President Eyring spoke of the love and kindness the long-time Church leader had for every person in his path. He compared President Monson’s service to that of the Savior, who visited the poor and the sick, and remembered how the prophet showed love to all people around the world.

“What I have felt, and everyone felt — I love him, and felt his love for me,” President Eyring said in a video published on Mormon Newsroom.

In the video, President Eyring shared thoughts and impressions after working with the prophet in the First Presidency.

“He was just always pleasant and quick — quick in conversation, quick in listening to anything. … He would lighten almost any situation he was in. … I so appreciated [that] when things were difficult.”

One of his strengths, President Eyring said, was that he was “always … optimistic.”

President Eyring explained that when difficulties or disasters were brought to President Monson, he would respond “steady and calm” and would make decisions on principle, not immediate reactions.

“He was the consummate minister to individuals, the prominent and the obscure,” he said. “He went to more funerals — in fact, there would be weeks he would [go to] two or three funerals and they would be people that he knew only vaguely or just a little bit, but he went as if they were dear friends.”

President Eyring appreciated how President Monson knew from experience how to give counsel and direction. “As young member of the Quorum of the Twelve I can’t imagine how many committees he was on that did things that have set the course of the Church for generations. He was in those as a very young man, and they always gave him a kind of perspective when everyone wanted to change something. … He’d say, ‘Well, remember this has worked for a long time.’ He had a long experience of what worked and what didn’t work in the Church or for individuals and for organizations.”

President Uchtdorf said of President Monson, “I will miss him as a friend, one who can be trusted, one who is very kind, very generous, very caring, loving.”

President Uchtdorf said President Monson will be remembered as a prophet who moved the Church forward through example.

“He lived what he preached,” he said. “He was a man of the people and a man of God, and this combination was just wonderful for our time. It was just right.”

He said President Monson made everyone feel comfortable in his presence.

“At the same time, when he walked with kings, with prime ministers, with presidents, with representatives of nations, it was the same way — they all felt that he was their friend,” he said. “He was a man with great talents, but always serving God and fellow man, always reaching out to the poor and the needy, looking for those who were in need.”

Recognizing President Monson’s instrumental role in building the temple in East Germany, President Uchtdorf said during the time of the Cold War when East Germany was behind the Iron Curtain, President Monson built up trust with the government.

“Through his openness, his honesty, his wonderful way of dealing with people regardless of where they came [from], opened the doors and they trusted him,” said President Uchtdorf. “And so the temple was built there and it was a blessing that he had, many years before, promised to the people in East Germany … at a time when no one would have ever thought this would be possible.”

President Uchtdorf said he also appreciated President Monson’s calm and steady demeaner.

“As the President of the Church, of course, you are very busy,” he said. “However, his demeanor in our meetings was always that of calmness, of steadiness, and all these decisions, whether great or small — and there were a lot of great decisions he had to make — he was relying on the Lord. He was always trusting the Lord. He always said, … ‘don’t lean on your own understandings, trust the Lord.’ …

“He was not a man with dark feelings of the future. He was a positive man, he had hope in the future, he trusted God and he would help us and direct us and give us the right direction to solve the challenge … ahead.”

Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles released the following statement on Jan. 3 about President Thomas S. Monson:

“We, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unitedly express our sincere sense of loss at the passing of President Thomas Spencer Monson. He was our prophet, our leader, our brother and our dear friend.

“President Monson lived an exceptional life of service. He served as an Apostle for more than 54 years, the last 10 years of which were as the President of the Church. From his earliest days of Church service to the very end of his faithful ministry, he never failed to bear witness, in word and deed, of the truth of the restored gospel and of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“We will miss his wisdom, his leadership, his meaningful example, and his loving kindness. However, we rejoice in his reunion with his beloved Frances, with other family members who have gone before, and with the prophets of God who preceded him in death, with whom he now stands. As his fellow servants, we echo the words of the Master: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy lord’ (Matthew 25:21).”

Community leaders, leaders of other faiths, as well as Church members also paid tribute to the prophet.

“I dare say, that if there were a man who could have been found doing the most good in this world, it would have been [President Monson],” said Mary Thompson in an Instagram post. “I can only imagine the incredible reunions happening in heaven today ... I love his birthday wish, and hope to honor that wish today. ‘Do something for someone else to make his or her life better. Find someone who is having a hard time or is ill or lonely and do something for them. That’s all I would ask.’ —President Thomas S. Monson.”

Jeffrey L. Jensen posted on Facebook, “I will miss his comforting voice, his powerful stories, his tender spirit, and his strong example of priesthood service. I didn’t expect to be moved to tears as I reflected upon his life, but that happened almost immediately. He has been one of the most constant and comforting voices of my entire life, as he has been in the First Presidency for as long as I can remember. We do thank Thee O God for a prophet, to guide us in these latter days, and I am so very grateful for the chance I had to listen to this prophet’s voice during his loving and Christ-centered life of service. Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter now into your eternal rest crowned with the glory of a grateful Savior, whose atoning sacrifice and love was at the heart of all you did. #PresMonson.”

Liz Wood Nix posted on Facebook, “So many things I loved about President Monson. I loved that he lived a life of service and was always looking for ways to help someone or put a smile on their face. He will be missed. #PresMonson”

William Adams posted a tribute on Facebook: “With the death of President Monson, I thought about what I learned from him. One of my favorite speeches he gave is, ‘to see others like what they can be.’ In the speech, he said: ‘during the 1940s and 1950s, the director of an American prison, Clinton Duffy, was famous for his work to rehabilitate the men of his prison. A critic said, “you know that leopards can’t change their spots.” Director Duffy replied: “I know that I do not work with leopards; I work with men, and men change every day.” ’

“I am grateful for his teachings and that he lived them. Like the president, I think people can be better. He spent his life helping his brothers and sisters. I want to follow his example and show the same confidence in others and faith in the power to change because of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank God for our dear Prophet, Thomas S. Monson.”

William Guerrette said on Facebook, “President Monson was called as an Apostle when he was just a few years older than I am now (36). At my age (33) he was serving as the President of the Canadian mission. He devoted 60+ years of his remarkable life to full-time church service. We will likely never see a person of whom more was asked at such a young age (he was a Bishop at age 22). He wore out his life in the service of a cause greater than himself. I hope to do the same in my own small way. I will miss him.”

Justin Warren said on Facebook, “‘Never let a problem to be solved, become more important than a person to be loved.’ — Thomas S. Monson. President Monson has been an example and hallmark of great leadership. While being a leader to many, he was a humble servant to one. While able to reach out to millions with love, he was able to make the person directly in front of him loved as if they were the most important person in the world. While teaching messages of importance, he was able to do so with a smile and humor. I will always remember the ‘wiggly ears’ experience he shared with a young boy in the front of a church meeting, so was his apparent mischievousness. Rest in peace President Monson. You finally get to also meet your dear sweetheart!”

Amy Ann Slane posted on Facebook, “Waking up to the death of our great LDS Prophet, #PresidentMonson, has me stunned, for the morning. An amazing Prophet I stood behind and sang, in the Celestial room, at the Reno Temple dedication. He was a tall man, he was giant in every way to me. His motto was to, #Loveoneanother. The most important thing the world can do! Now he reigns with the Lord on high. Thank you Lord, For President Monson. A great blessing he has been. God Bless him and his family.”

Sorry, no more articles available