Tuesday, April 1, 2008

In our children's lives...History is made

At 11:00am MST, the Church held a news conference to announce the new members of the First Presidency. As expected, Thomas Spencer Monson, will be the new Prophet, Seer and Revelator and 16th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. Not surprising, President Henry Bennion Eyring was named First Counselor and Elder Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf was named Second Counselor.
Early life

In Wikipedia we read, "...Monson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to G. Spencer Monson and Gladys Condie.[3] The second of six children, he grew up in a tight knit family. In fact, many of his mother's relatives lived on the same street and the extended families frequently went on trips together. Monson attended West High School. In the spring of 1945, at age 17, he joined the United States Naval Reserve and anticipated participating in World War II in the Pacific theater. Instead, Germany capitulated within weeks of his joining and the war in Pacific ended within months. His tour of duty lasted only six months after the end of the war and upon its completion, he enrolled in the University of Utah. Monson graduated cum laude in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in business management.
Monson taught for a time at the university, then began his career in publishing. His first job was with the Deseret News, and he became an advertising executive there and later with the Newspaper Agency Corporation. That same year, he met and married Frances Beverly Johnson in the Salt Lake Temple on October 7, 1948. The couple has three children: Thomas Lee, Ann Frances, and Clark Spencer. They have eight grandchildren. Monson later transferred to the Deseret News Press, one of the largest presses in the Western United States, beginning as sales manager and eventually becoming general manager. He continued his education and received his master of business administration degree from Brigham Young University in 1952. In addition to these work and family responsibilities, Monson also became a bishop in the LDS Church at age 22, one of the youngest men ever called to that position. As a bishop in Salt Lake City, he presided over a ward of over 1000 people, including nearly ninety widows. He visited those widows regularly and even after leaving the position, often during the Christmas season bringing them gifts (including poultry he raised himself). At age 27, Monson became a counselor to a stake president in Salt Lake City, and became a mission president at age 32. As mission president, he presided over the Canadian Mission of the LDS Church from 1959 to 1962, supervising LDS missionaries who were not much younger than he was. The Canadian Mission consisted of Ontario and Quebec. It was under the leadership of Monson that missionary work began among the French-speaking population of Quebec. Upon his return to Utah, Monson resumed his work with the Deseret News until he was called to be an apostle in 1963 at age 36, the youngest apostle since 1910. As an apostle, Monson has worked in many areas of the world and in many capacities for the LDS Church. With his business background, he has helped to oversee many operations of the church including KSL and Bonneville International. He was chair of the scripture publication committee in the 1970s that oversaw publication of the LDS Church edition of the King James Bible and revised editions of LDS Church scriptures containing footnotes and guides. He has also overseen the church's printing advisory committee, the missionary executive committee, and the general welfare committee. Monson currently serves as first vice chairman of the Church Board of Education and Board of Trustees that govern the Church Educational System. Monson has also been instrumental in the growth of the LDS Church in Europe, where for a time he oversaw church operations in Eastern Europe. He assisted in gaining LDS Church access to its members in the Soviet bloc. In 1982, he organized the first stake in East Germany. He was instrumental in obtaining permission for the church to build a temple in Freiberg, East Germany, in 1985. Following the death of Church President Spencer W. Kimball in 1985, Monson was chosen as second counselor in the First Presidency by new church president Ezra Taft Benson. At age 58, he was the youngest member of a First Presidency since 1901. Serving in this position under Benson and Howard W. Hunter, he was named first counselor to church president Gordon B. Hinckley in 1995, simultaneously becoming President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by seniority. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency until Hinckley's death on January 27, 2008."
We are grateful for the opportunity to sustain these wonderful leaders this weekend at Confrence.

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