Thomas S. Monson, current prophet of the Mormons, has been married to Frances Monson since he was a very young man. He often enjoys telling stories about her. Following are a few stories about their years together.
At a dance for the freshman class at the University of Utah, I was dancing with a girl from West High School when a young lady from East High School danced by with her partner. Her name was Frances Johnson; I didn’t know it at the time. I just took one look and decided that there was a young lady I wanted to meet. But she danced away, and I didn’t see her for three more months. Then one day, while waiting for the old streetcar at Thirteenth East and Second South Street in Salt Lake City, I looked and couldn’t believe my eyes. Here was the young lady whom I had seen dancing across the floor, and she was standing with another young lady and a young man whom I remembered from grade school days. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember his name. I had a decision to make, and I thought to myself: “This decision requires courage. What should I do?” I found in my heart an appreciation of that phrase, “When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.”
I squared my shoulders and plunged toward my opportunity. I walked up to that young man and said, “Hello, my old friend from grade school days,” and then he said to me, “I can’t quite remember your name.” I told him my name, and he told me his name. Then he introduced me to the girl who later became my wife. That day I made a little note in my student directory to call on Frances Beverly Johnson, and I did. That decision was one of the most important decisions that I have ever made. Young people who are at that particular time in their lives have the responsibility to make similar decisions. They have the important responsibility to choose whom to marry-not only whom to date.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “Nothing is more important than marrying the right person, at the right time, in the right place, and by the right authority.” We hope you will avoid too quick courtships. It is important that each of you become acquainted with the person you plan to marry, that there is certainty that each of you is looking down the same pathway with the same eternal objectives in mind.
Thomas S. Monson, “Decisions Determine Destiny,” New Era, Nov 1979, 4
The first day I saw Frances, I knew I’d found the right one. The Lord brought us together later, and I asked her to go out with me. I went to her home to call on her. She introduced me, and her father said, ” ‘Monson’-that’s a Swedish name, isn’t it?”
Her father wept. He wept easily. He said, “He and his companion were the missionaries who taught the gospel to my mother and my father and all of my brothers and sisters and to me.” He kissed me on the cheek. And then her mother cried, and she kissed me on the other cheek. And then I looked around for Frances. She said, “I’ll go get my coat.”
My sweet Frances had a terrible fall a few years ago. She went to the hospital. She lay in a coma for about 18 days. I sat by her side. She never moved a muscle. The children cried, the grandchildren cried, and I wept. Not a movement.
And then one day, she opened her eyes. I set a speed record in getting to her side. I gave her a kiss and a hug, and I said, “You’re back. I love you.” And she said, “I love you, too, Tom, but we’re in serious trouble.” I thought, What do you know about trouble, Frances? She said, “I forgot to mail in our fourth-quarter income tax payment.”
Brethren, let’s treat our wives with dignity and with respect. They’re our eternal companions. Sisters, honor your husbands. They need to hear a good word. They need a friendly smile. They need a warm expression of true love.
Thomas S. Monson, “Abundantly Blessed,” Ensign, May 2008, 111-12
I thank my Father in Heaven for my sweet companion, Frances. This October she and I will celebrate 60 wonderful years of marriage. Although my Church service began at an early age, she has never once complained when I’ve left home to attend meetings or to fulfill an assignment. For many years my assignments as a member of the Twelve took me away from Salt Lake City often-sometimes for five weeks at a time-leaving her alone to care for our small children and our home. Beginning when I was called as a bishop at the age of 22, we have seldom had the luxury of sitting together during a Church service. I could not have asked for a more loyal, loving, and understanding companion.
Thomas S. Monson, “Looking Back and Moving Forward,” Ensign, May 2008, 87-90