Thomas Spencer Monson was born on August 21, 1927, in Salt Lake City. He was compassionate even as a young boy. When he found out that one of his friends would be eating only cereal with water for Christmas dinner he took his two prized rabbits to them and told them that while it wasn’t turkey, they would still make a fine Christmas dinner.
Monson served in the U.S. Navy toward the end of World War II. He was only 17, and the armistice had just been signed a few weeks after he joined. Pres. Monson served a full year of active duty before returning home.
In 1948, he graduated ”cum laude” from the University of Utah with a degree in business management. On October 7 of that same year, he married Frances Beverly Johnson in the Salt Lake Temple. They eventually had three children, two boys and a girl. Pres. Monson continued studying for his graduate degree while teaching at the University of Utah. He later received his MBA from Brigham Young University.
In his career, Thomas S. Monson did well in publishing and printing. He worked for the advertising division of the Deseret News beginning in 1948. He then became sales manager for the Deseret News Press, then general manager. From 1959 to 1962, Thomas Monson served as president of the Canadian Mission of the Mormon Church in Toronto, Canada. He served in this position until he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 4, 1963. In 1969 he began service on the National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America. He has also served on the Utah State Board of Regents, which runs higher education in Utah. In 1981, Thomas Monson was asked by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to serve on a President’s Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives. He fulfilled this role on the task force until 1982, when the task force completed its work. Visit the LDS newsroom for more information about President Monson.
On November 10, 1985, President Monson was called to be the Second Counselor in the First Presidency under President Ezra Taft Benson. On June 5, 1994, he was called to serve as Second Counselor under President Howard W. Hunter. On March 12, 1995, he was called to serve as First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley. On February 3, 2008, Thomas Monson was ordained and set apart as the 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.