Facts about President Thomas S. Monson
How blessed we are to be led by inspired prophets in these
latter-days.† We mourned the passing of
our beloved leader, President Gordon B. Hinckley, but our sorrow was tempered
by the assurance that we would be guided by yet another of the Lordís chosen
leaders, President Thomas S. Monson.† It
is reassuring to know that our leaders are men of sound judgment, great
spiritual insight, and that they have presided in the leading councils of our
church for many years.† Such is
definitely the case with President Monson.†
We love and sustain him, having watched his remarkable service to the
church, to its members, and to the Lord for many years.
Following are some interesting facts and insights into the leadership
and experience of this great prophet:
- President Monson became church president at age 80
years and 5 months.† Only six of the
other fifteen prophets of this dispensation were older than President
Monson when sustained as Church president.†
Those six (followed by their age when sustained) are Wilford
Woodruff (82), Lorenzo Snow (84), Gordon B. Hinckley (84), Ezra Taft
Benson (86), Howard W. Hunter (86), and Joseph Fielding Smith (93).
- Seven of our sixteen prophets served as a counselor
in the First Presidency before being sustained as President of the
Church.† Those seven were Thomas S.
Monson, Gordon B. Hinckley, Harold B. Lee, Joseph Fielding Smith, David O.
McKay, Joseph F. Smith, and Lorenzo Snow.
- Remarkably, President Monson is our only church
president who was baptized in a traditional baptismal font.† He was baptized in the Tabernacle
Baptistry on Temple Square
in September of 1935.† All of our
other prophets were baptized in naturally-occurring bodies of water or
- The age difference between Presidents Hinckley and
Monson was 17 years 2 months.† Only
three other times in church history has there been a great difference in
age between successive presidents of the Church than between Presidents
Hinckley and Monson.† Joseph F Smith
(#6) was 18 years older than Heber J. Grant (#7), Joseph Fielding Smith
(#10) was 22 years older than Harold B. Lee (#11), and Lorenzo Snow (#5)
was 24 years older than Joseph F. Smith (#6).
- Only two of our sixteen prophets served as
bishops.† Those two were President
Thomas S. Monson (Salt Lake
4th Ward) and President Howard W. Hunter (El Sereno Ward).
- From August
21, 1927, when President Monson was born, until May 14, 1945, when President
Heber J. Grant died, there were ten current and future presidents of the
Church living at the same time.†
Those ten current and future prophets living concurrently were
Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding
Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W.
Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson.
- Thomas S. Monson served as an apostle for 44 years
before being sustained as President of the Church.† Only four of our prophets served longer
as an apostle before being sustained.†
Those four (followed by the number of years served before being
sustained) were David O. McKay (45), Lorenzo Snow (49), Wilford Woodruff
(49), and Joseph Fielding Smith (59).
- Thomas S. Monson served as counselor in the First
Presidency to three prophets (Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley).† Only five other apostles have served as
counselors to three or more prophets.†
Those five are (followed by the number of prophets for whom they
served as counselor) are Gordon B Hinckley (3), J. Reuben Clark (3),
Nathan Eldon Tanner (4), Joseph F. Smith (4), and George Q. Cannon (4).
- On November
10, 2008, President Monson completed 23 years of service in
the First Presidency.† Only seven
brethren have served longer in the First Presidency than President
Monson.† Those seven (followed by
years served in the First Presidency) are George Q. Cannon (23), Heber J.
Grant (26), Gordon B. Hinckley (26), J. Reuben Clark (28), Brigham Young
(29), David O. McKay (35), and Joseph F. Smith (47).
- President Monson served as First Counselor in the
First Presidency 12 years 10 months.†
Only three brethren have served longer as First Counselor. Those three
(followed by the years served as First Counselor in the First Presidency)
are J. Reuben Clark (18), George Q. Cannon (18), and Heber C. Kimball
- President Monson served as Second Counselor in the
First Presidency a combined 9 years 4 months.† Only six brethren have served longer as
Second Counselor in the First Presidency.†
Those six (followed by the number of years served as Second
Counselor in the First Presidency) are J. Reuben Clark (9), Marion G.
Romney (10), James E. Faust (12), David O. McKay (16), Joseph F. Smith
(19), and Daniel H. Wells (20).
- President Monson served as First and Second Counselor
in the FP a combined 22 years.† Only
one brother has served longer as First and Second Counselor in the First
Presidency.† That brother is J.
Reuben Clark.† He served 28 years in
- The longest period of time in this dispensation
without a change in the First Presidency was 12 years and 5 months.† President Monson was a part of that long
period of service.† It occurred from
March 12, 1995 when
Presidents Hinckley, Monson, and Faust were sustained as our First
Presidency, until the passing of President Faust on August 10, 2007.
- President Monson was only 36 years 2 months of age
when called as an apostle.† Of all
apostles that have been called in the 20th and 21st centuries, only four
were younger than President Monson when called.† Those four (followed by their age at the
time of apostolic call) are Hyrum Mack Smith (29), George Albert Smith
(33), David O. McKay (32), and Joseph Fielding Smith (33).† [Note: Logically, many of the apostles
called in the 19th Century were in their 20ís and 30ís due to the newness
of the restored church.]
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