SALT LAKE CITY – While tens of thousands of people from around the world watched the funeral service of President Thomas S. Monson, many felt blessed to attend the service in person.
Mafileo Tafuna was one of thousands of people who lined up early at the LDS Conference Center to secure a spot inside. He’s never met President Monson, but felt a close connection to the beloved prophet while serving a mission in the Philippines.
“A person to be loved is more important than a problem to be solved. That just really touched my heart because that was a quote that I had heard out on my mission. It helped me focus on my purpose not only as a missionary but as a child of God,” said Tafuna.
President Monson’s influence helped Jose Fesili’s family from Samoa convert to the LDS church.
“He loved the Polynesian people and cared for them as well as people all around the world. He shows that General love that everyone can feel in his presence or when he speaks,” Fesili said.
Those in attendance were also touched by the words of those who worked closely with President Monson – his counselors President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
They also enjoyed hearing the experiences Monson’s daughter Ann M. Dibb shared about serving alongside her father.
“It brought to memory all the times I felt the Spirit by listening to President Monson talking about stories of service. I really like the stories he told over the years,” said Dan, an LDS member from Orem.
Janet Johnson came to the service to celebrate Monson’s life, but to also find some comfort.
“Paint sunshine on your soul today. I wrote that down in my day planner. That really hit me hard. And the other one was if you can’t show people your love then you’re not really loving.”
People said they are taking on the challenge put forth by Dibb. They will recommit to serving others, as her father did.