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Thomas S. Monson
Worked at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Attended University of Utah
Lives in Salt Lake City, UT
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Thomas S. Monson

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My young friends who are in your teenage years, always have the temple in your sights. Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there.

I commend those of you who already go to the temple regularly to perform baptisms for the dead, arising in the very early hours of the morning so you can participate in such baptisms before school begins. I can think of no better way to start a day.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/the-holy-temple-a-beacon-to-the-world?lang=eng 
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Thomas S. Monson

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To be a Latter-day Saint is to be a pioneer, for the definition of a pioneer is “one who goes before to prepare or open up the way for others to follow.” And to be a pioneer is to become acquainted with sacrifice.

Although members of the Church are no longer asked to leave their homes to make the journey to Zion, they often must leave behind old habits, longtime customs, and cherished friends. Some make the agonizing decision to leave behind family members who oppose their Church membership. Latter-day Saints move forward, however, praying that precious ones will yet understand and accept.

The path of a pioneer is not easy, but we follow in the footsteps of the ultimate Pioneer—even the Savior—who went before, showing us the way to follow.

“Come, follow me,” He invited.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,” He declared.

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Thomas S. Monson

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This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone.

I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not.

I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.
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Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to take us by the hand and introduce us to birth—even to mortal life—deserves our undying gratitude. One writer summed up our love for mother when he declared, “God could not be everywhere, and so He gave us mothers.”

While on the cruel cross of Calvary, suffering intense pain and anguish, Jesus “saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26–27.) What a divine example of gratitude and love!

My own mother may not have read to me from the scriptures; rather, she taught me by her life and actions what the “Good Book” contains. Care for the poor, the sick, the needy were everyday dramas never to be forgotten.
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Thomas S. Monson

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Fifty-two years ago, in July 1964, I had an assignment in New York City during the time the World’s Fair was hosted there. Early one morning I visited the Mormon Pavilion at the fair. I arrived just prior to a showing of the Church’s film Man’s Search for Happiness, a portrayal of the plan of salvation which has since become a Church classic. I sat next to a young man who was perhaps 35 years of age. We spoke briefly. He was not a member of our Church. Then the lights dimmed, and the show commenced.

We listened to the voice of the narrator as he posed the poignant and universal questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where do I go when I leave this life? All ears strained to hear the answers, and all eyes were fixed on the images portrayed. A description of our premortal life was given, along with an explanation of our purpose on earth. We witnessed a touching depiction of the passing from this life of an elderly grandfather and of his glorious reunion with loved ones who had preceded him to the spirit world.

At the conclusion of this beautiful portrayal of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us, the crowd silently filed out, many visibly touched by the message of the film. The young visitor next to me did not arise. I asked if he had enjoyed the presentation. His emphatic response: “This is the truth!”

Our Father’s plan for our happiness and our salvation is shared by our missionaries throughout the world. Not all who hear this divine message accept and embrace it. However, men and women everywhere, just like my young friend at the New York World’s Fair, recognize its truths, and they plant their feet on the path that will lead them safely home. Their lives are forever changed.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/the-perfect-path-to-happiness?lang=eng
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Essential to our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Without His atoning sacrifice, all would be lost. It is not enough, however, merely to believe in Him and His mission. We need to work and learn, search and pray, repent and improve. We need to know God’s laws and live them. Only by doing so will we obtain true happiness.

We are blessed to have the truth. We have a mandate to share the truth. Let us live the truth, that we might merit all that the Father has for us. He does nothing save it be for our benefit. He has told us, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

From the depths of my soul, and in all humility, I testify of the great gift which is our Father’s plan for us. It is the one perfect path to peace and happiness both here and in the world to come.

https://www.lds.org
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A faithful member of the Church, John A. Larsen, served during World War II in the United States Coast Guard on the ship USS Cambria. During a battle in the Philippines, word came of an approaching squadron of bombers and kamikaze fighter planes. Orders were given for immediate evacuation. Since the USS Cambria was already gone, John and three companions gathered their gear and hurried to the beach, hoping for a lift out to one of the departing ships.

Fortunately, a landing craft picked them up and sped toward the last ship leaving the bay. The men on that departing ship, in an effort to evacuate as quickly as possible, were busy on deck and only had time to throw ropes to the four men, that they might hopefully be able to climb to the deck.

John, with a heavy radio strapped to his back, found himself dangling at the end of a 40-foot rope, at the side of a ship headed out to the open sea. He began pulling himself up, hand-over-hand, knowing that if he lost his grip, he would almost certainly perish. After climbing only a third of the way, his arms burned with pain. He had become so weak that he felt he could no longer hold on.

With his strength depleted, as he grimly contemplated his fate, John silently cried unto God, telling Him that he had always kept the Word of Wisdom and had lived a clean life—and he now desperately needed the promised blessings.

John later said that as he finished his prayer, he felt a great surge of strength. He began climbing once again and fairly flew up the rope. When he reached the deck, his breathing was normal—not the least bit labored. The blessings of added health and stamina, promised in the Word of Wisdom, had been his. He gave thanks to his Heavenly Father then, and throughout the remainder of his life, for the answer to his desperate prayer for help.

Brethren, may we care for our bodies and our minds by observing the principles set forth in the Word of Wisdom, a divinely provided plan. With all my heart and soul I testify of the glorious blessings which await us as we do.

https://www.lds.org 
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May we have a commitment to our Heavenly Father that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. We should not need to experience difficulties for us to remember Him, and we should not be driven to humility before giving Him our faith and trust.

May we ever strive to be close to our Heavenly Father. To do so, we must pray to Him and listen to Him every day. We truly need Him every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain. May His promise ever be our watchword: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

With all the strength of my soul, I testify that God lives and loves us, that His Only Begotten Son lived and died for us, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is that penetrating light which shines through the darkness of our lives.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/i-will-not-fail-thee-nor-forsake-thee?lang=eng 
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We are all susceptible to those feelings which, if left unchecked, can lead to anger. We experience displeasure or irritation or antagonism, and if we so choose, we lose our temper and become angry with others. Ironically, those others are often members of our own families—the people we really love the most.

Many years ago I read the following Associated Press dispatch which appeared in the newspaper: An elderly man disclosed at the funeral of his brother, with whom he had shared, from early manhood, a small, one-room cabin near Canisteo, New York, that following a quarrel, they had divided the room in half with a chalk line, and neither had crossed the line or spoken a word to the other since that day—years before. Just think of the consequence of that anger. What a tragedy!

May we make a conscious decision, each time such a decision must be made, to refrain from anger and to leave unsaid the harsh and hurtful things we may be tempted to say.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/school-thy-feelings-o-my-brother?lang=eng 
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Only the Master knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls with His comforting words:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, He is with us. He has promised that this will never change.

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Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know.

Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.” We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.

Send that note to the friend you’ve been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say “I love you” more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.

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May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the adversary—a real faith, the kind of faith which will sustain us and will bolster our desire to choose the right. Without such faith, we go nowhere. With it, we can accomplish our goals.
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President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Introduction

President Thomas S. Monson has served as the 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since February 3, 2008. He had served as a Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church since November 10, 1985. Most recently, on March 12, 1995, he was set apart as First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley. Prior to that, on June 5, 1994, he was called as Second Counselor to President Howard W. Hunter, and on November 10, 1985, as Second Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson. He was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 4, 1963, and ordained an Apostle on October 10, 1963, at the age of 36.

President Monson served as president of the Church’s Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, from 1959 to 1962. Prior to that time he served in the presidency of the Temple View Stake in Salt Lake City, Utah, and as a bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in that stake.

Born in Salt Lake City, on August 21, 1927, President Monson is a son of G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson. He attended Salt Lake City public schools and graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in 1948, receiving a degree in business management. He did graduate work and served as a member of the College of Business faculty at the University of Utah. He later received his MBA degree from Brigham Young University. In April 1981, Brigham Young University conferred upon President Monson the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. He was given the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters by Salt Lake Community College in June 1996. He received the Honorary Doctor of Business from the University of Utah in May 2007. In May 2009 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Communication from Utah Valley University and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Southern Utah University. In April 2010 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Weber State University. In May 2011 he received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Dixie State College of Utah. He is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, an honorary business fraternity.

President Monson served in the United States Navy near the close of World War II. He married Frances Beverly Johnson on October 7, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of three children, with eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Professionally, President Monson has had a distinguished career in publishing and printing. He became associated with the Deseret News in 1948, where he served as an executive in the advertising division of that newspaper and the Newspaper Agency Corporation. Later he was named sales manager of the Deseret News Press, one of the West’s largest commercial printing firms, rising to the position of general manager, which position he held at the time of his appointment to the Quorum of the Twelve in 1963. He served for many years as chairman of the board of Deseret News Publishing Co. President Monson is a past president of Printing Industry of Utah and a former member of the board of directors of Printing Industries of America.

With his broad business background, President Monson served for many years as a board member of several prominent businesses and industries. He currently serves as chairman of the LDS Church Board of Education and Board of Trustees.

Since 1969 President Monson has served as a member of the National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America.

President Monson has held membership in the Utah Association of Sales Executives, the Salt Lake Advertising Club, and the Salt Lake Exchange Club.

For many years, President Monson served as a member of the Utah State Board of Regents, the body which governs higher education in the State of Utah. He also served as an officer in the Alumni Association of the University of Utah.

In December 1981, President Monson was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the President’s Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives. He served in this capacity until December 1982, when the work of the task force was completed.

President Monson was awarded the University of Utah’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1966. He is also the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America’s Silver Beaver Award (1971), its prestigious Silver Buffalo Award (1978), the Bronze Wolf (1993; international Scouting’s highest award), and the Silver Fox Award from Scouts Canada (2011). In 1997 he received the Minuteman Award from the Utah National Guard, as well as Brigham Young University’s Exemplary Manhood Award. In 1998 he and Sister Monson were each given the Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award by the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph Villa. In 2000 he received the Joseph and Hyrum Smith Award as "Communicator of the Year" from the LDS Public Relations Society. In 2005 he was presented with the Legacy of Life Award by the Heart and Lung Research Foundation, which is an entity of the Deseret Foundation. In 2007 he received Rotary's Worldwide Humanitarian Award. He has received awards from four chapters of the BYU Management Society.

Education
  • University of Utah
    1948
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
August 21
Work
Employment
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    President of the Church
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Currently
Salt Lake City, UT