President Monson remembered for his example, service and love

FILE - In this April 4, 2015, file photo, President Thomas S. Monson, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waves to the audience during the opening session of the Mormon church conference in Salt Lake City. Monson, the 16th president of the Mormon church, died after nine years in office. He was 90. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(KUTV) Most living members of the LDS church can't remember a time when late President Thomas S. Monson wasn't part of the church's leadership.

He spent over 50 years in top positions and was a notable story teller in the Mormon church's twice-yearly conferences. He was a beloved figure when he passed away Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning, reaction to his passing was widespread, including from the two men who served with Monson in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Henry. B Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in that statement:

President Thomas S. Monson was a mighty Prophet of God and we are honored to have served by his side these past 10 years. His far-reaching and multi-faceted ministry touched the lives of people from all walks of life in remarkable ways. As a result, President Monson’s legacy will continue to be an influence for good in the lives of countless individuals and families for generations to come. To his family, we extend our most sincere condolences and love.

Sen. Orrin Hatch said:

President Monson was among the greatest men I have ever known. Service was his motto and humility his hallmark. Countless were the lives he touched as a prophet, father, and friend. He emulated Christ in every particular, helping all of us draw closer to God by drawing all of us closer to each other. I’m so grateful for the life of my dear friend and for the example he left for everyone to follow.

Rep. Mia Love issued a statement:

Today, I give thanks for the life and example set by President Thomas S. Monson. His tireless, charitable service, cheerful demeanor, love of others and ministry touched millions of lives. He provided inspiration for Latter-Day Saints throughout the world. God bless him and his family.

Rep. Rob Bishop said:

President Monson’s service to Utah, the LDS Church, and the world is without equal. He will be greatly missed, and his influence will be felt for generations to come. I am heartened by the belief that his passing leads to a divine reunion with his wife, Frances. My thoughts today are with his family and the millions throughout the world in mourning.

Utah's Gov. Gary Herbert issued a statement and said he and his wife join millions around the world mourning Monson's death.

"His life was a sermon of service. He cared for all people as children of God. The state of Utah and its citizens are better people because of his example of kindness, his personal ministry and his visionary leadership. Throughout my years of public service it has been a distinct privilege to associate with President Monson and his sweet wife Frances. They became dear friends and mentors to our family. His legacy of service, compassion and unwavering love for all of God’s children will be felt for generations to come."

The Utah House Democrats issued a statement and said in part, "He was known for saying, “‘Love thy neighbor’ is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection.” His humility and empathetic approach for all people were values that all of us can celebrate."

“President Monson’s gift for taking keen interest in each individual, and for remembering the circumstances of their lives will be missed. He was remarkable. He knew details about everyone. And he cared for everyone,” said Minority Leader Brian King.

Utah's Attorney General Sean Reyes reacted with a statement where he said, "I love President Thomas S. Monson, and I will miss him. Throughout my life, he has been an example of selfless service and visionary leadership."

Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City, Oscar A. Solis, signed a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City:

The President has been a good friend and supporter in our mutual efforts to support the common good and care for the most vulnerable both at home and abroad. Catholic Community Services as well as the Good Samaritan Program have benefited from his commitment to the poor. For President Monson, the Sermon on the Mount was not just a platitude but a way of life.

SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a statement:

President Monson's values also guided the LDS Church, and set a high moral standard, as to how we will treat immigrants and refugees both inside and outside our borders. I believe his example has helped to ensure Salt Lake City and Utah will always be seen as welcoming places.

NAACP Jeanetta Williams, President of the NAACP Salt Lake chapter, said:

“President Monson was a very kind and caring individual and leaves a great legacy." Jeanetta Williams President of NAACP Salt Lake Branch. Williams said that there will be quotes remembered by President Monson but one that she will remember is, “Never let a problem to be solved, become more important than a person to be loved.”

Included were condolences from the NAACP.

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes said:

I was saddened to learn that President Thomas Monson has passed away. While we mourn the loss of an exceptional man, we also honor his remarkable life that he dedicated to serving others. When he spoke, people all over Utah, the country and the world listened. He truly understood that when you are in the service of your fellow man you are in the service of God. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and members of the LDS church during this time.

The Salt Lake Chamber statement included:

"The state of Utah has lost a great Leader. President Monson’s influence has far exceeded his religious responsibilities, stewardship, and love for the Latter-day Saints around the world.

"He is truly a friend of all people. His willingness to work with all leaders and religions in the State of Utah has set him apart as a giant in our community. His love, compassion, and empathy have strengthened our entire state. His influence has added to the quality of life, economic development, and personal example that so many of us in Utah have benefited. He has spent his life in service to us all."

Sutherland Institute also released a statement:

“President Monson challenged people everywhere to live their lives with a sensitivity to spiritual nudges so that they could become the answer to someone’s silent cry for help.

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