Mormon president remembered for devotion to poor, needyJanuary 12, 2018 10:43pm

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Deceased Mormon President Thomas S. Monson will be remembered for helping church membership grow exponentially over a half-century and for his devotion to the poor and needy, faith leaders said at a funeral Friday.

About 11,000 people attended the service that rounded out two days of mourning and memorials for Monson, who died Jan. 2 at age 90 after nearly a decade leading The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About 31,500 Mormons came to a public viewing a day earlier.

"We are all better because of him," said Russell M. Nelson, a member of the church's governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who is expected to become the next president. "And the church is better because of him."

Monson was a well-known figure to multiple generations of Mormons after more than five decades in top leadership councils. He served as a counselor to three church presidents before assuming the role in 2008.

Monson's presidency was marked by his noticeably low profile during a time of intense publicity for the church, including the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Mormon Mitt Romney. Monson's most public acts were appearances at church conferences and dedications of church temples.

"President Monson never sought the limelight. In a world saturated with 'selfies,' he modeled selflessness," Nelson said.

Romney and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch were among the well-known Mormons at the funeral, held in the massive auditorium of the church's Salt Lake City conference center.

He noted that church membership exploded from 2.1 million in 1963 when Monson joined the Quorum to nearly 16 million today. During that same period, the number of missionaries increased from 5,700 to 70,000 and temples went from 12 to 159, Nelson said.

Like all church presidents, Monson was considered a prophet who led through revelation from God.

Monson's legacy will be tied to the church's efforts to hold tight to its opposition of same-sex marriage, while encouraging members to be more open and compassionate to gay people.

The focus of speeches delivered by three high-ranking leaders and one of Monson's daughters steered away from controversy and focused on what they called a legacy of love and service.

Daughter Ann Dibb urged members to carry on Monson's efforts to help others.

"We do not need to be the president of the church to notice another's need and 'paint a bright spot on our souls,'" said Dibb, using a favorite expression of her father's.

Dieter Uchtdorf called him "a spiritual giant" and told the story of Monson insisting on visiting an ailing church member in Germany. Despite recent foot surgery, Monson climbed five flights of stairs to give the man a blessing and cheer him up, said Uchtdorf, one of Monson's two top counselors and a member of the Quorum.

"He abounded in knowledge, faith, love, vision, testimony, courage, and compassion — leading and serving never from a pedestal, but always eye to eye," he said.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

CORRECTS THAT COLEMAN IS AT RIGHT, NOT LEFT - In this July 30, 1981 photo,  John Coleman, weather channel founder, right, and Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., are seen during a news conference in New York. John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and longtime KUSI weatherman, died Saturdaty night, Jan. 20, 2018, at home in Las Vegas, said his wife Linda Coleman. He was 83.  (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
The Latest: TV meteorologist behind The Weather Channel dies
Final respects given to S. Carolina officer killed in ambushThe funeral for a sheriff's deputy in South Carolina shot and killed in an ambush has started with the other three officers wounded in their wheelchairs just in front of the flag-draped coffin
Members of various law enforcement agencies look on during the funeral services for York County Sheriff's Det. Mike Doty at Calvary Church in Charlotte N.C., on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Doty died Jan.17 after being shot in the line of duty on Jan. 16.  (David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via AP)
Slain officer remembered for tough, but caring demeanor
File - In this Oct. 31, 2007 file photo, a poster showing signatures of former Rosie the Riveter's is seen at the offices of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond, Calif. A woman identified by a scholar as the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, the iconic female World War II factory worker, has died in Washington state. The New York Times reports that Naomi Parker Fraley died Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Longview. She was 96. Multiple women have been identified over the years as possible models for Rosie, but a Seton Hall University professor in 2016 focused on Fraley as the true inspiration. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
Woman, called inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96
Ruth Bader Ginsburg describes facing sexual harassmentSupreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she has experienced sexual harassment
NY Gov. Cuomo heading to Utah for Sandra Lee film screeningNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to travel to Utah to attend the screening of girlfriend Sandra Lee's new documentary on her battle with breast cancer
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices