April 22, 2018

First Presidency counselors Eyring and Urchtdorf say Monson's legacy will live on

13 January 2018, 07:36 | Winifred Adams

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If the motion to reorganize is passed, the Quorum of the Twelve will unanimously select the new president, who will assume the top role in the almost 16 million-member church.

Thomas Monson, leader of the Mormon church, has died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, the church said on Wednesday.

Monson was well-respected by Mormons all over the world for his dedication to humanitarian causes, from disaster relief to the simplicity of urging members to bring comfort to someone who is lonely.

"President Monson, who has served as president of the Church since February 2008, leaves behind a legacy of service and good works". 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. Before that, he was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1963.

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He was 90.Monson became the 16th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the religion is officially known, in 2008.

A former editor of the Deseret News - where Thomas once worked - said the faith leader grew up in a poor neighborhood of Salt Lake City where he watched his mother give food and aid to transients during the Great Depression, KSL reports. Service was his motto and humility his hallmark. Monson inspired him when he was a young man, Dehlin said, and he was "clearly committed and dutiful to his faith/church". His wife, Frances Monson, passed away in 2013. That position is now held by 93-year-old Russell Nelson. The church subsequently expanded leadership opportunities for female missionaries, although it continued to bar women from the priesthood.

But Dehlin also told us Monson presided over "the largest wave of disaffection/apostasy that the LDS church has experienced since the 1830s". The couple had three children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He served as an Apostle for more than 54 years, the last 10 years of which were as the President of the Church.

He studied medicine at the University of Utah and become a doctor in 1947 at the age of 22. His successor will be named following his funeral on January 12. The two counselors then revert back to their places of seniority within the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which is determined by the date on which the apostle was ordained, not by age. But President Nelson's priorities in office may be somewhat different, given his background in medicine, his experience training heart surgeons in China and his fluency in Mandarin. "How will they balance the new president?"

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