Thousands Pay Respects to Beloved LDS Prophet
UPDATE: Tens of thousands of people around the world watched the live funeral proceedings of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson on Friday. Services were held at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.
People were able to watch the services in nearly 30 languages on LDS.org and other media channels, according to the church, as well as on the church’s satellite system. Thousands more turned out to the Conference Center.
Speakers of the hour-long service included Monson’s two counselors – presidents Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf – and Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who likely will be Monson’s successor.
They said Monson will be remembered for his countless hours of service, his cheery disposition and humor, and his testimony and teachings of the doctrines of the LDS Church, including Jesus Christ.
Some quotes from the services:
“President Monson never sought the limelight,” President Nelson said. “In a world now saturated with ‘selfies,’ he modeled selflessness. … He gave his own time to visit, bless, and love others. Even in his waning season, he continued to minister, making frequent visits to hospitals and senior centers.”
“My heart is drawn out to his family and to all who mourn his passing. There are millions of people across the earth who share that sense of loss,” said Eyring, who served as Monson’s first counselor in the First Presidency. “Caring for others happened often in the ministry of President Monson. The love of God, and love for God’s children, permeated his life. That love began early and endured with him to the end.”
Monson was considered a prophet by the more than 16-million members of the LDS Church.
Uchtdorf, Monson’s second counselor, said: “Thomas S. Monson was a man for all seasons, truly a spiritual giant. President Monson was truly a prophet for our time.”
President Monson’s body was laid to rest at the Salt Lake City Cemetery, where a number of other church presidents have been interred.
SALT LAKE CITY (KLIX) – Thousands of people visited the Conference Center before noon on Thursday to pay their respects to LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, who passed away on Jan. 2 at the age of 90.
President Monson, considered a prophet by LDS faithful, was the 16th president of the more than 16 million-member church. His body will lay in repose inside the Conference Center until 8 p.m. today.
“For my entire life, [President Monson] was serving as an apostle for the church,” said Bill Mounga, who stood with his son and hundreds of others in a line that snaked from the Conference Center auditorium on the first level to the Hall of the Prophets on the building’s third floor. “He’s been a pillar in my life, an example of consistently serving. I took my son out of school and brought him here today so we could show our respects.”
Monson, born Aug. 21, 1927, began his church leadership service early, having been ordained a bishop at age 22. Just five years later he was called to serve as a counselor in a stake presidency, and four years after that as a mission president at age 31. He was sustained as an apostle at age 36, and later served as counselor to three church presidents. He was sustained as President of the Church in 2008, after the passing of Gordon B. Hinckley.
His successor will likely be Russell M. Nelson, who by profession was a heart surgeon but serves currently as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Traditionally, it is the president and senior member of that quorum who is in line to become the next church president.
According to the LDS Church, the viewings for most past church presidents were held in the Church Administration Building, located southeast of the Conference Center. But the 21,000-seat Conference Center has played an increasingly important role for the church since its opening in early 2000.
President Monson’s funeral will begin at noon on Friday, Jan. 12, in the Conference Center. Services will be broadcast live and in many languages via MormonNewsroom.org, mormontabernaclechoir.org, LDS.org, among other venues.