President Thomas S. Monson

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).

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“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

President Thomas S. Monson Timeline

  • 1927 - 1949

    • 1927 August 21

      Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson.

      Thomas S. Monson age 10, 1937 Thomas S. Monson age 13, 1940

    • 1945

      Joined US Naval Reserves

      Thomas S. Monson age 17, 1945

    • 1948

      Graduated cum laude from University of Utah

      Became professionally associated with Deseret News

      October 7 - Married Frances Beverly Johnson

      Thomas S. Monson age 21, 1948

  • 1950 - 1962

    • 1950 May 7

      Sustained as bishop of Sixth-Seventh Ward of Temple View Stake in Utah

      Thomas S. Monson with employees at Deseret News Press, 1950

    • 1955 June

      Sustained as counselor in stake presidency, Temple View Stake, Utah

    • 1959–1962

      Served as president of Canadian Mission headquartered in Toronto, Canada

      Thomas S. Monson visits with Saints in Polynesia, 1960

  • 1963 - 1980

    • 1963 October 10

      Ordained an Apostle at the age of 36

      Thomas S. Monson age 36, 1963

    • 1966

      Awarded University of Utah's Distinguished Alumnus Award

      Thomas S. Monson receives distinquished alumni award from the University of Utah, 1966

    • 1969 to the present

      Served as a member of the National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America

    • 1971

      Received first of several distinguished Boy Scouts of America Awards

      Thomas S. Monson visits with Boy Scouts, 1970

  • 1981 - 1996

    • 1981 December

      Appointed by President Ronald Reagan to President's Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives

      Ronald Reagan visiting Ogden Area Welfare Service Center accompanied by Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson, 1982

    • 1985 November 10

      Called as Second Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson

    • 1994 June 5

      Called as Second Counselor to President Howard W. Hunter

    • 1995 March 12

      Called as First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley

      Thomas S. Monson age 68, 1995

  • 1997 - 2008

    • 1997

      Received the Minuteman Award from the Utah National Guard

    • 1998

      Received Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award by Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph Villa

    • 2004 May 26

      Received Distinguished Utahn Award from Salt Lake City and Utah Valley Management Society Chapters

      Thomas S. Monson with his wife, Francis, in front of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, 2002

    • 2007

      Received Distinguished Public Service Award from Washington, D.C. chapter of BYU Management Society

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Notable Talks

Three Goals to Guide You

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.’ ”

A Royal Priesthood

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.”

The Master Bridge Builder

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.”

The Way of the Master

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.”

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