Colleagues in the Quorum of the Twelve share thoughts about President Thomas S. Monson

On the day of President Thomas S. Monson's funeral on Jan. 12, several members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared their witness of the prophet, as well as memories and lessons from their colleague and friend on their social media channels.

Read what the leaders said on Facebook:

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:

“More than any man I have ever known, President Thomas S Monson did all he could for the widow and the fatherless, the poor and the oppressed. His life is something of a sacred manuscript upon which the Holy Ghost has written one remarkable spiritual message after another. He resolutely followed the promptings of the Spirit — always in the right place at the right time, always 'on the Lord’s errand.'

“I count myself blessed to have had the pleasure to associate with President Monson. It is, of course, bittersweet to say goodbye to one prophet and lovingly welcome another. This time of transition in the leadership of the Church is a rare and marvelous moment. It is a dramatic time for the revelation of the Lord to come to a unique body of men.

“The organization of the Lord’s Church guarantees that there is never a moment when the divine apostolic keys are not in force.

“And with those keys in place, there is never any lack of revelatory experience. It is a little bit like the British saying, 'The king is dead; God save the king.' The transition is that fast because, of course, the authority to lead is already in place.

“With you, I mourn the passing of our beloved prophet and friend, Thomas S. Monson. But I take solace in knowing that the Lord remains at the helm of His Church. He directs it. He guides it. And He will continue to do so because God loves His children and He will not leave us without the direction we need.

Elder Henry B. Eyring:

“This week I, like many of you, have pondered on the life of my dear friend, President Thomas S Monson. He is a great soul. I love him very much.

“He was always pleasant and quick in conversation, always quick to listen. He would lighten almost any situation he was in, which I was always especially thankful for when things were difficult.

“The hallmark of his life, like the Savior’s, will be his individual concern in reaching out to the poor, the sick — even all individuals — worldwide. He loved the cultures of the world and deeply respected them. He always asked us when traveling to communicate his love to the people in the areas we visited. And I could always feel his love for them.

“I am thankful for the years of friendship and service we shared. May we honor President Monson’s legacy by thinking more of others, loving more deeply, and looking with faith to a bright future."

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

"Harriet and I will miss President Thomas S Monson. He was our cherished and treasured friend. He was my tutor and mentor. Many of you have expressed that you feel the same way. He was someone everyone could relate to. Everyone could feel comfortable in his presence.

"The eloquence of his spoken messages were equaled by his actions in daily life. He grasped the complexities of a worldwide church and cared personally about the well-being of the individual. He was a friend of God and a friend to you and me. He helped me to trust and recognize the promptings of the Spirit and to follow them. His positive impact continues to be in the hearts of all who know and love him. Harriet and I traveled with him and enjoyed his goodness toward everyone, regardless of their standing in life or society. He walked confidently with kings and with the common man."

Elder Quentin L. Cook:

"I have always loved President Thomas S Monson. When President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met in the temple to reorganize the First Presidency. I knew from doctrine and practice that President Monson was to be the prophet. However, when the sustaining vote was called for I had a truly exceptional spiritual experience that President Monson was indeed called of God to be His prophet.

"I will miss President Monson. I can’t begin to explain how I appreciate the Christlike life that he lived. I pray that for the remainder of my days, I can follow the example he set for me and for each of us. I also extend my love to his family."

Elder D. Todd Christofferson:

"The funeral held today for President Thomas S Monson was a fitting tribute honoring his life of faithful service as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Something I will always remember, and what has touched me most about President Monson’s life and leadership, has been his personal ministry. President Monson was never discouraged by challenges or tasks that may have seemed too large. He was always willing and ready to do what he could and offer encouragement and a helping hand to someone who needed it in the moment. He made a real difference for good in the lives of many individuals.

"Even though he could not minister to everyone personally, he has helped those he could. Some of us are paralyzed into inaction, thinking that since we cannot help everyone or solve all problems, we should not even start. Instead, we should follow President Monson’s example and do whatever we can, even if it is just a little, and have faith that the Lord will provide additional help and blessings either directly or through others to do what we cannot."

Elder Neil L. Andersen:

"What can you say about a prophet of the Lord like President Thomas S Monson? I could write a book about what I have learned at his feet.

"The first time President Monson ever spoke directly to me was on December 23, 1988. I was sitting in my office in Tampa, Florida, finishing a few projects on the day before Christmas Eve. The receptionist said, 'Mr. Thomas Monson is calling from Salt Lake City.' I immediately stood up, realizing who was calling. President Monson extended a call to me to serve as a mission president. I share one morsel of counsel he gave me. 'Brother Andersen,' he said, 'you are a young man. Never let your youth be an excuse. Joseph Smith was a young man. The Savior was a young man.' I remember the thought going through my mind, 'Yes, and Thomas Monson was a young man as well.'

"In general conference of April 2009, as I was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, I said this about President Monson: 'There is no man with more love than President Thomas S. Monson. His warmth is as the sunshine at midday. Yet, as he extended to me this sacred call, you can imagine the overwhelming soberness I felt as the eyes of the prophet of God peered deeply into the chambers of my soul. Happily, you can also imagine the love I felt from the Lord and from His prophet as President Monson wrapped his long and loving arms around me. I love you, President Monson.'

"A few years ago, sitting at the lunch table following our Thursday temple meeting, I said to President Monson, 'President, you’ve been sitting at this table for 48 years.' (It has now been more than 54 years.) He then asked me, 'Brother Andersen, how old were you when I was ordained to the Twelve?' I said, 'President, you were ordained an Apostle within a month of the day that I was ordained a deacon.'

"President Monson always looked for the good in those around him. He reminded me how fortunate I was to have married my wife, Kathy, and told me often that she reminded him of his wife, Frances. On one occasion, when one of my children was going through a particular challenge, President Monson wrote a warm and thoughtful letter.

"As all of us would know, one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures was Proverbs 3:5–6: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.'

"On one occasion President Monson said, 'I am always humbled and grateful when Heavenly Father communicates with me through His inspiration. I have learned to recognize it, to trust it, and to follow it. Time and time again I have been the recipient of such inspiration. My beloved brothers and sisters, communication with our Father in Heaven — including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us — is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life.'

"It has been said when you are loved by President Monson, that love lasts forever. I am only one of millions who have been the recipient of that love. May we long remember the goodness of his life and the greatness of his example."

Ronald A. Rasband:

"I can’t find the words to describe my love for our dear prophet, President Thomas S Monson. I have had so many wonderful experiences with him over the years. When I was called as an Apostle, I had the great privilege to meet with the First Presidency and receive my calling from President Monson. I felt the strength and love he had as he said to me, 'This call comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.' It shook me to the core to consider the import and significance of those words when they were spoken to me by our beloved prophet. It was my honor to serve the Lord with President Monson as he served with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength.

"I have learned so much from President Monson—especially what true Christlike love and service looks like. I will miss him, but I know he has gone to his heavenly home and family. I also know that thanks to the Savior, President Monson, and all of us, will live again."

Elder Dale G. Renlund:

"How I love President Thomas S Monson! As I have reflected on the life of this extraordinary man, I have thought of three invaluable lessons he taught me, beginning in April of 2009 when he set me apart as a General Authority Seventy. President Monson spent more than an hour with Ruth and me that day. At some point he mentioned a favorite hymn and promised he would teach it to us before we left. However, with all that was going on, it slipped his mind and we didn’t learn the hymn. By the time we got home, there was a message on our answering machine from his secretary, asking if we could come back because he still wanted to teach us the hymn. The first lesson is that President Monson always kept his word.

"The next day, we returned to President Monson’s office and spent an additional hour and a half with him. He gathered some of his staff around, and one of the sisters played the piano. His teaching of the hymn reminded me of learning a song in Primary, one line at a time! As we were leaving, I said, 'President Monson, you have been so kind to us.' His response was, 'I have only treated you as I would want to have been treated.' The second lesson is that President Monson knew and understood the Golden Rule.

"The hymn that President Monson taught us was 'If the Way Be Full of Trial, Weary Not,' which includes these words:

If the way be full of trial, weary not; If it's one of sore denial, weary not; If it now be one of weeping, There will come a joyous greeting, When the harvest we are reaping, weary not.

CHORUS Do not weary by the way Whatever be thy lot There awaits a brighter day To all, to all who weary, weary not.

"The third lesson comes from watching President Monson as his health has declined; he truly did serve the Lord with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength. While his physical body was failing, he truly did 'weary not.' May we all go and do likewise."

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