In memoriam: LDS church President Thomas S. Monson

Obituary for LDS President Thomas S. Monson (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Thomas Spencer Monson, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Tuesday, January 2, 2018. He was 90.

Born in Salt Lake City on Aug. 21, 1927, to G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson, Monson was the 16th president of the Mormon church, serving for close to 10 years.

He succeeded President Gordon B. Hinckley in 2008 after serving as a first counselor to Hinckley since 1995. Prior to that time, Monson served as a counselor to former President Howard W. Hunter and Ezra Taft Benson. He was a counselor in the First Presidency of the Church since 1985, according to the church's website.

Monson led a lifetime of service and leadership across religious, business and scouting realms. His worldwide church leadership began back in 1963 when he became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the age of 36.

Prior to his international church callings, Monson served as a mission president for the Canadian Mission, in Toronto from 1959 to 1962, according to the Church. Before that, he served in the presidency for the Temple View Stake in Salt Lake City and as a bishop over more than 1,000 members of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in that same stake at the age of 22.

He attended public schools including West High School and graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in 1948 with a degree in business management. He continued to work with his alma mater serving as a member of the College of Business faculty at the U of U. He went on to receive his MBA from Brigham Young University.

Monson married Frances Beverly Johnson on Oct. 7, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple. The couple had three children, eight grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. In 1998, Frances Monson and he were each given the Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award by the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph Villa.

Monson served in the United States Navy during the end of World War II and was also a life-long Boy Scout, serving more than 45 years on the Boy Scouts of America's national executive board. His list of honors awarded from the Boy Scouts of America is long, with the most recent recognition in 2013, when the organization announced they would rename a 10,000-acre leadership complex in West Virginia after him.

Monson's professional career got an early start when he began working part-time for his father at a printing firm named Western Hotel Register Co. This job set the pace his professional career in the printing industry. Monson worked in publishing and printing. He worked his way up the ranks and was an executive in advertising for the Deseret News and the Newspaper Agency Corporation, according to the Church.

With his broad business background, he served as the chairman of the LDS Church Board of Education and Board of Trustees. He also served on the Utah State Board of Regents for a number of years and an officer for the Alumni Association of the University of Utah.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Monson to serve on the President's Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives, where he served for a year until the work was completed.

At the time Monson was born, there were about 600,000 Latter-day Saint, with most of them living in the Western United States. There are now more than 15 million church members worldwide, with more of its members (8.7 million) now residing outside of the United States.

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