President Thomas S. Monson became Church President February 3, 2008, at the age of 80.
More than 44 years ago, on October 4, 1963, President Thomas S. Monson was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. For nearly 23 of those years, he has been a counselor in the First Presidency, serving with President Ezra Taft Benson, President Howard W. Hunter, and President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Sustained as an Apostle at the age of 36, President Monson was one of the youngest men to be called to this position.
He enlisted in the United States Navy near the end of World War II, at the age of 18, and served his hitch as a sailor. Afterward, he attended the University of Utah, graduating Cum Laude in business in 1948. Soon thereafter he began working for the Deseret News daily newspaper in Salt Lake City as an advertising executive.
At age 22, after his marriage to Frances Beverly Johnson, President Monson was called to serve as the bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in Salt Lake City. Eighty-five widows lived in the ward, and as a young bishop he visited each one regularly, making sure their spiritual and temporal needs were met. It was also here he began his lifelong involvement with the Boy Scouts of America. In 1955, he was called to serve as a counselor in the stake presidency of the Temple View Stake in Salt Lake City. From 1959 to 1962, he served as president of the Church’s Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
Upon his return from Canada, he resumed work at the Deseret News, eventually becoming general manager of the Deseret News Press, one of the largest commercial printing firms in the western United States. He was working there at the time of his call to serve as an Apostle, in 1963.
Known for his energy and ability to get things done, President Monson has a quick intellect and an amazing memory. He is also an articulate and eloquent speaker. Throughout his years as a General Authority, his talks have often hearkened back to his experiences with the widows and others whom he served as bishop.
President Monson is the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award (1971), Silver Buffalo Award (1978), and of international Scouting’s highest award, the Bronze Wolf (1993).
For more information on the life of President Thomas S. Monson, please visit Newsroom.lds.org.
President Thomas S. Monson became the 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008, at the age of 80. He was ordained an Apostle in 1963.
“I testify that with God, all things are possible. He is our Heavenly Father; His Son is our Redeemer. As we strive to learn His truths and then to live them, our lives and the lives of others will be abundantly blessed.”
Thomas S. Monson, “Becoming Our Best Selves,” Ensign, April 2006, 2–6
Appointed by President Ronald Reagan to President's Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives
Called as Second Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson
Called as Second Counselor to President Howard W. Hunter
Called as First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley
Received the Minuteman Award from the Utah National Guard
Received Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award by Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph Villa
Received Distinguished Utahn Award from Salt Lake City and Utah Valley Management Society Chapters
Received Distinguished Public Service Award from Washington, D.C. chapter of BYU Management Society
Thomas S. Monson, “Three Goals to Guide You,” Liahona or Ensign, Nov. 2007, 118–21. (Address given at general Relief Society meeting)
“My dear sisters, may our Heavenly Father bless each of you, married or single, in your homes, in your families, in your very lives—that you may merit the glorious salutation of the Savior of the World: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ ”
Thomas S. Monson, “A Royal Priesthood,” Liahona or Ensign, Nov. 2007, 59–61. (Address given at general priesthood meeting)
“May we have vision. May we put forth effort. May we exemplify faith and virtue and ever make prayer a part of our lives. Then we shall indeed be a royal priesthood.”
Thomas S. Monson, “The Master Bridge Builder,” Liahona or Ensign, Jan. 2008, 2–7. (First Presidency message)
“Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the supreme architect and builder of bridges for you, for me, for all humankind. He has built the bridges over which we must cross if we are to reach our heavenly home.”
Thomas S. Monson, “The Way of the Master,” Ensign, Jan. 2003, 2–7. (First Presidency message)
“By learning of [the Savior], by believing in Him, by following Him, there is the capacity to become like Him. The countenance can change; the heart can be softened; the step can be quickened; the outlook enhanced. Life becomes what it should become.”