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LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson remembered for ‘a legacy of love and service’

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 20:59:55-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was laid to rest, with thousands of Mormon faithful remembering President Thomas S. Monson for a lifetime of ministry and service.

"Today, I am profoundly grateful for my father and the legacy he created -- a legacy of love and service. Although he was a prophet, my father knew he was not perfect," Ann Dibb, President Monson's daughter, said in her eulogy. "With all his heart, he humbly relied on and tried to be like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

President Monson's casket was draped in flowers with a folded American flag off to the side as LDS Church leaders and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir filled the seats behind it. He passed away last week at age 90 from causes related to old age, the LDS Church said.

Dibb spoke of her father's service to people within the church -- even to complete strangers.

"Once, while visiting a local nursing care facility, he shook the hand of a man in a wheelchair. The man looked up and timidly said, 'President Monson, you have shaken my hand, but I need an embrace.' Without hesitation, Dad bent down and tenderly embraced this dear man," she said.

Dibb said her father knew that joy comes from loving the Lord and serving your neighbor.

"This joy is available to all of us," she said. "There is no better way to honor my father, the prophet, and our Savior Jesus Christ, than to live every day so that at its close we can truly say, 'I feel I've done some good today.'"

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said he missed his friend, whom he declared "truly a spiritual giant."

"I believe that all who knew him, heard or saw him, even if only from afar, considered themselves his friends," he said.

President Uchtdorf said he and President Henry B. Eyring had visited President Monson's home, when he stopped them and said: "I love the Savior Jesus Christ. And I know that he loves me."

"What a tender an powerful testimony by a prophet of God," he said. "President Monson was truly a prophet for our time. He was a man for all seasons."

President Eyring spoke of the ministry, saying President Monson would go to visit one person, and then get an impression to go to another, and then another.

"They felt the love of God through President Monson's kindness to them," he said. "The love of God, and love for God's children, permeated his life."

President Eyring disclosed that he was present at the time of President Monson's passing, and was "blessed to be there."

The LDS Church has so far announced no succession plans, but the man who is likely to be the next leader of the 16 million member Mormon faith, remembered his friend of more than 50 years as having lived "a remarkable life."

"There will never be another like him!" declared President Russell M. Nelson. "There have been and will yet be many tears of separation shed by each of us. We will really miss him. But our sorrow is assuaged by the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ."

President Monson never sought the limelight, President Nelson said.

"In a world saturated with 'selfies,' he modeled selflessness," he told the crowd. "He personified the state of the Lord, who said, 'He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.'"

Thousands stood to pay their final respects as President Monson's casket was led out of the Conference Center. He was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.