The clear, sweet notes of the organ broke the reverent solemnity that filled the conference center as the choir rose and began to sing.
“Out in the desert they wander, hungry and helpless and cold. Off to the rescue he hastens, bringing them back to the fold.”
Though this favorite Mormon hymn is a reference to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, it seems the parallels in former LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson’s own life are striking.
President Monson’s warmth, personal interest, encouragement, enthusiasm for the work and prophetic dignity made us feel calm and at peace. We felt we were in the presence of one who knew the Savior; one who was His servant. – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
12:32 PM – Jan 12, 2018
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“He would go to visit someone in need, feel while he was there an impression to go to another person, and then to another. More than a few times, such a person said, ‘I knew you would come,’” said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency under President Monson.
Over 20,000 gathered Friday afternoon for funeral proceedings honoring President Monson, who served as prophet and leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for nearly a decade.
Many remembered his unfailing service to others, especially the sick and lonely. His daughter, Ann M. Dibb, recounted memories accompanying her father to visit a lifelong, 98-year-old friend, Elder Glen Rudd.
At one point, a little too much time had passed between their visits. President Monson’s secretary answered a phone call from Rudd who asked, “Is President Monson out visiting the sick, the afflicted and the aged? If so, I qualify!”
President Monson and his daughter quickly went to visit their friend, and afterward the prophet turned to his daughter and said, “I feel we’ve done some good today!”
Though known for his ability to easily sense the needs of others, President Monson knew he wasn’t perfect, Dibb said. Once, after seeing his picture in an open church magazine on his desk, he said, “I know that guy. He tried his best.”
And try he did, she said. Though his duties in the church kept him from serving everyone he wished he could, he would often delegate the task to another, asking if they’d like to “paint a bright spot on (their) soul today.”
President Monson’s reputation of selflessness also extended overseas and, during 1988, he traveled with other local church leaders to East Berlin in the then-communist German Democratic Republic. The country had been closed to church missionary work for more than 50 years, but President Monson felt impressed to ask permission for missionaries to serve there.
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