According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Thomas became a bishop at a Salt Lake City congregation with over 80 widows at age 22. He was a traditionalist that was known for strong storytelling, mostly about growing up in his native Salt Lake City and receiving visions from the Holy Spirit for his calling.
Monson served as the 16th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) since 2008, according to Reuters. Everyone started mingling, and most of the church leaders left.
During his tenure, Monson ushered in some major changes to Mormon church policy. The Houghs reportedly still identify as Mormon's but don't follow the religion's strict set of rules. His speeches at the faith's twice-yearly conferences often focused on parables of human struggles resolved through faith. Monson was named first counselor in 1995.
Even an Idaho leader of the Hindu faith offered condolences.
Monson walked where Jesus walked, lifting the downtrodden, comforting the wounded, healing the sick, brightening the lives of the lonely at heart. Osmond tweeted a picture of her embracing Monson, saying he was always there for her family. Zed called Monson "a great humanitarian who collaborated with other religions/denominations worldwide on programs aimed at improving the human condition". Jeff Flake and Utah Sen. Service was his motto and humility his hallmark.
Under Monson, the Mormon Church declared same-sex couples "apostates", meaning they were subject to excommunication.
He was the youngest to join the Quorum of the Twelve in over a century.
His wife, Frances Monson, died in May 2013. He is said to have passed peacefully of old age.
Many other Utah leaders and notable individuals also paid tribute to Monson's life. He was known for his love of show tunes, Boy Scouts and the Utah Jazz. "That's who he is, someone whose impact on people is more important than are his calculations or strategies for the church". Monson did lower the age of missionaries from 21 to 19.
President Nelson is older than President Monson was, but observers say he is physically and mentally strong for a man of his years.
Nelson will be formally appointed most likely after a funeral is held for Monson on January 12.
During the Korean War, Nelson served a two-year term of medical duty in the U.S. Army.
"What they're saying here is viewed by members as a divinely led process".
The second-longest serving apostle will be designated as the new president of the Quorum of the Twelve after the reorganization of the First Presidency.
Following tradition, Russell M. Nelson, who is the senior apostle, would be next in line to become the 17th prophet. His death was announced by a church spokesperson and on the organization's official Twitter feed.
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