Thomas S. Monson Biography

Thomas Spencer Monson, a renowned American religious leader and author, dedicated his life to serving others. As the president of The Church Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), he made significant contributions in various areas, including humanitarian efforts, education, and religious pursuits. From a young age, he displayed remarkable leadership skills, becoming a Bishop at twenty-two and a mission president at thirty-one. His extensive travels allowed him to make a lasting impact on communities across the USA and Canada. Known for his dynamism and ability to accomplish tasks, Monson was highly respected for his quick intellect and incredible memory. His compassion for others, particularly widows, was evident in his actions, as he actively worked to improve their lives. Monson also emphasized the importance of helping those in need, encouraging members to rescue individuals facing hardship and despair. Throughout his life, he exemplified courage and compassion, leaving a lasting legacy of service and kindness.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Thomas Spencer Monson
  • Died At Age: 90
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Frances Beverly Johnson
    • Father: G. Spencer Monson
    • Mother: Gladys Condie
    • Children: Ann Frances, Clark Spencer, Thomas Lee
  • Born Country: United States
  • Quotes By Thomas S. Monson
  • Humanitarian
  • Died on: January 2, 2018
  • Place of death: Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
  • U.S. State: Utah
  • City: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • More Facts
  • Education: Brigham Young University, University of Utah
  • Awards:
    • 1971 – Boy Scouts of America’s Silver Beaver Award
    • 1978 – Silver Buffalo Award
    • 1993 – Bronze Wolf Worldwide Humanitarian Award

Childhood & Early Life

Thomas S. Monson was born to G. Spencer Monson and Gladys Condie and was the second of their six children. He grew up in a closely-knit family and frequently went on vacations with his relatives who lived nearby. In his early teens, he took a job at the printing business managed by his father.

In 1940, he enrolled in the West high school in Salt Lake City. After attending it for four years, he joined the University of Utah in 1944. The following year, he joined the United States Naval Reserve where he was expected to participate in World War II in the pacific theatre of operations. After the completion of his tour of duty, he returned to the University of Utah and graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He rejoined the Naval Reserve after completing his college, with the aim of becoming an officer. But soon he was asked by his ward bishop to serve as a counselor in the bishopric and consequently he had to apply for a discharge in Navy which was granted to him before the advent of Korean War.


He served his tenure as a teacher in University of Utah for some time and then moved to publishing. He joined the Deseret News as an advertising executive. In 1952, he joined the advertising operations of the Newspaper Agency Corporation and later transferred to the Deseret News Press, where he began as sales manager and eventually became general manager.

On May 7, 1950, he became an LDS (Latter-day Saints) bishop. During his service period, his ward contained 1080 people, including 84 widows whom he visited on a regular basis. He also wrote personal letters to the men who were serving in the US military from his ward.

In June, 1955, he became a counselor in the presidency of the Salt Lake City ‘Temple view stake’. After four years, he was made the president of the Canadian mission. After his return from the Canadian Mission, he was called to serve on the high-counsel in Holladay (supervising over nine stakes mission) and on General church committee (Priesthood Genealogy and Priesthood Home Teaching Committee).

In 1963, he was conferred an ‘Apostle’ and was chosen and blessed as a member of the ‘Quorum of the Twelve Apostles’ by Joseph Fielding Smith. As an apostle, he looked upon many operations of the Church including KSL Newsradio and Bourneville International Corporation.

During 1965-1968, he oversaw church’s modus operandi in the South Pacific and the Australia along with organizing the first LDS stake in Tonga. In the following year, he was on the Mountain Bell board of advisors, also serving as member of the board of directors of Commercial Security Bank alongside. He also chaired the bank’s audit committee for twenty years, where he also became member of the board of directors when the bank was bought out by Key Bank.

In 1970s, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Scripture Publication Committee that looked after the publication of the LDS church edition of the King James Bible and amendments in the church scriptures. He also looked after other committees of the Church. In 1974, he received a master of business administration degree from Brigham Young University while being an apostle.

In December, 1981, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to work for the President’s Task Force for private sector initiatives. He served in this position until the completion of the work of the task force.

On February 3, 2008, he became the 16th president of the LDS church, succeeding Gordon B. Hinckley. During his tenure as president, there were about 13 million members worldwide, with the majority residing outside USA and Canada.

Major Works

In 1982, he coordinated the first stake in East Germany and was actively involved in obtaining permission for the church to build a temple in Freiberg, East Germany, in the next three years. He also represented the Boys scouts of America as a delegate to the World Conference in Tokyo, Nairobi, and Copenhagen. During his tenure as the president of the LDS church, he announced the construction and planning of 31 temples in various general conferences. He wrote many books and published compilations of his own speeches.

Awards & Achievements

In April 1981, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Brigham Young University. Soon after, many degrees followed including Doctor of Human Letters from Salt Lake community college (1996), an Honorary Doctor of Business from University of Utah (2007), and an Honorary Doctorate degree in humanities from Dixie state college (2011). In 1971, he received the Boys scouts of America’s silver beaver award as well as the highest honor, Silver Buffalo award (1978) for his extraordinary service to youth. In 1993, he received the World organization of the Scout movement’s highest honorary award, ‘The Bronze Wolf’, for developing Scouting in various countries. He received a worldwide humanitarian award at the international conference of Rotary club of the Salt Lake Chapter.

Personal Life, Legacy & Death

On October 7, 1978, he married Frances Johnson in the Salt Lake Temple after his graduation. They had three children – Thomas Lee, Ann Frances and Clark Spencer. Being a president of the church, he dedicated twelve LDS church temples along with the re-dedication of the two and dedicated seven church temples as a counselor in the first presidency. Thomas S. Monson died on January 2, 2018, of natural causes at his home in Salt Lake City. He was 90.


In 1950s, he was made the Secretary of the Utah State Roller Club which was a group of pigeon breeders. On July 20, 2009, he met President Barack Obama and presented him with five volumes of personal family history records.

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