Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passed away on Jan. 2. More than 3,000 LDS members in the greater Chattanooga area have joined with the worldwide church to express condolences upon his passing.
President Monson was called into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at age 36 – in 1963 – the youngest Apostle to be called since 1910. He gave a lifetime of service – more than 50 years as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. He was noted for “his constant attention to those in need” (lds.org).
“We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children,” President Monson often said. President Monson was set apart and ordained as the 16th president of The Church in 2008. Although he met with kings, presidents, prime ministers and heads of states throughout his ministry, President Monson was always at home with the widow, the poor, the needy, the forgotten.
As his two counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, said, “President Thomas S. Monson was a mighty prophet of God…. His far-reaching and multi-faceted ministry touched the lives of people from all walks of life in remarkable ways. As a result, President Monson’s legacy will continue to be an influence for good in the lives of countless individuals and families for generations to come.”
On President Monson’s official Facebook page, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created a space where individuals can share memories and condolences at https://www.facebook.com/lds.thomas.s.monson?fref=ts
Members from the greater Chattanooga area are sharing their thoughts as they remember a prophet of God.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe as Christ and his disciples taught – that at death the spirits of the righteous “are received into a state of happiness…a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow” (Alma 40:12). In the spirit world, which is around us, they are reunited with faithful family and friends they have also loved and lost.
“My brothers and sisters,” President Monson once said, “we laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die. Death is our universal heritage. All must pass its portals. Death claims the aged, the weary and worn. It visits the youth in the bloom of hope and the glory of expectation. Nor are little children kept beyond its grasp. In the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘It is appointed unto men once to die’” (Hebrews 9:27). “And dead we would remain but for…Jesus of Nazareth” (Monson, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, April 2007) at https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/i-know-that-my-redeemer-lives?lang=eng.
Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried, and rose again the third day. Because He lives, all shall live again. “In Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
As the late President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “Even if your body is old and diseased or crippled or disabled in any way, when the spirit and body are put together in the Resurrection, then you will be glorious; then you will be glorified.” In fact, when our mortal bodies reunite with our spirits, we will receive whatever glory we have prepared for. For those who keep His commandments, families can be together forever.
And so, although we will deeply miss President Thomas S. Monson, we are profoundly grateful for Jesus Christ. As a special witness of Jesus Christ, President Monson lifted up his voice to declare that “God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer” (Monson, April 2007).
“After the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God” (D&C 76:22, 23). “This is the knowledge that sustains,” President Monson said. “This is the truth that comforts. This is the assurance that guides those who are bowed down with grief – out of the shadows and into the light…. May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge,” President Monson prayed.
Funeral services will be held for President Thomas S. Monson on Friday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Services will be broadcast online at LDS.org.