#TransformationTuesday: Lessons Learned from President Monson

images via thomassmonson.org

On October 4, 1963, Thomas S. Monson—now prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—was ordained into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. For over 50 years, people from all over the world have been learning from President Monson’s various life experiences that he has shared. This week’s Transformation Tuesday highlights a couple crowd favorites of President Monson’s stories.

1.  Dare to Stand Alone

Another crowd favorite is depicted in a Mormon Message video where President Monson shares of a time in the Navy that he learned a valuable lesson of having the courage to stand alone.

2. Learning to Follow Promptings

President Monson’s early service in the Church resulted in experiences and lessons that he frequently shares with the saints in hopes that they too may learn these gospel principles. The following is a story told by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland recounting an experience President Monson had as a young bishop:

Twenty-three-year-old Tom Monson, relatively new bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in the Temple View Stake, was uncharacteristically restless as the stake priesthood leadership meeting progressed. He had the distinct impression that he should leave the meeting immediately and drive to the Veterans’ Hospital high up on the Avenues of Salt Lake City. Before leaving home that night he had received a telephone call informing him that an older member of his ward was ill and had been admitted to the hospital for care. Could the bishop, the caller wondered, find a moment to go by the hospital sometime and give a blessing? The busy young leader explained that he was just on his way to a stake meeting but that he certainly would be pleased to go by the hospital as soon as the meeting was concluded.

Now the prompting was stronger than ever: “Leave the meeting and proceed to the hospital at once.” But the stake president himself was speaking at the pulpit! It would be most discourteous to stand in the middle of the presiding officer’s message, make one’s way over an entire row of brethren, and then exit the building altogether. Painfully he waited out the final moments of the stake president’s message, then bolted for the door even before the benediction had been pronounced.

Running the full length of the corridor on the fourth floor of the hospital, the young bishop saw a flurry of activity outside the designated room. A nurse stopped him and said, “Are you Bishop Monson?”

“Yes,” was the anxious reply.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “The patient was calling your name just before he passed away.”

Fighting back the tears, Thomas S. Monson turned and walked back into the night. 

He vowed then and there that he would never again fail to act upon a prompting from the Lord. He would acknowledge the impressions of the Spirit when they came, and he would follow wherever they led him, ever to be “on the Lord’s errand.”

3. On the Lord’s Errand

On the Lord’s Errand” is a video released by the Church, summarizing President Monson’s life and service in the gospel.

Timeline of President Monson’s Life:

Aug. 21, 1927: Born in Salt Lake City to G. Spencer Monson and Gladys Condie Monson.

1945-46: Served in Navy in San Diego.

1948: Graduated with honors from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s of science in marketing.

Oct. 7, 1948: Married Frances Johnson in the Salt Lake Temple.

1949: Named assistant classified advertising manager of the Deseret News.

1950: Named Deseret News classified advertising manager.

March 12, 1950: Sustained as second counselor in the 6th-7th Ward bishopric. Had previously been ward clerk and ward Young Men’s president.

May 7, 1950: Sustained as bishop of the 6th-7th Ward.

1953: Appointed sales manager for Deseret News press.

June 26, 1955: Sustained as second counselor in the Temple View Stake presidency.

1958: Named assistant manager of Deseret News press.

1959: Called as president of the Canadian Mission.

Feb. 1, 1962: Sustained as a high councilor in the Valley View Stake.

April 1962: Named supervisor of Area No. 3 of stake missions.

May 1963: Named member of the Priesthood Home Teaching Committee.

Oct. 4, 1963: Called to the Quorum of the Twelve and ordained an apostle.

1974: Received master’s of business administration from Brigham Young University.

April 1981: Received honorary doctorate of law from Brigham Young University.

Nov. 10, 1985: Set apart as second counselor in First Presidency to President Ezra Taft Benson.

June 5, 1994: Set apart as second counselor in First Presidency to President Howard W. Hunter

March 12, 1995: Set apart as first counselor in First Presidency to President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Feb. 4, 2008: Announced as the 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.