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 one of our beloved leaders, our sorrow is tempered by the assurance that we will be guided by yet another of the Lord’s chosen leaders. 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 has definitely the case with Presidents Hinckley, Monson and Nelson. We love and sustain these great leaders, having watched their 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 President Thomas S. Monson, as an example of the dedicated discipleship of our leaders:
- 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, President Hinckley, and President Nelson 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 greater 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, 2017, President Monson completed 32 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. Kimball (20).
- 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 First Presidency 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 those positions.
- 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 20’s and 30’s due to the newness of the restored church.]
- President Monson passed away on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He wore out his life serving others, and spreading the word of the gospel of Jesus Christ.