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
†† 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 and President Hinckley
are our only church presidents who were baptized in traditional baptismal fonts.† President Monson was baptized in the
Tabernacle Baptistry on Temple
Square in September of 1935.† All of our other 14 prophets were
baptized in naturally-occurring bodies of water or swimming pools.
- 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, 2015, President Monson completed 30
years of service in the First Presidency.†
Only two brethren have served longer in the First Presidency than
President Monson.† Those two
brethren (followed by years served in the First Presidency) are 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.
- 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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