The funeral for Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was held today at the Conference Center on Temple Square.
Music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was the centerpiece in the service honoring President Monson, who served for nearly 10 years at the head of the LDS church. He oversaw close to 16 million Mormons worldwide.
Monson’s daughter, Ann Dibb, spoke of his desire to express his love for others, even complete strangers.
“Once, while visiting a local nursing care facility, he took the hand of a man in a wheelchair," Dibb said. "The man looked up and timidly said, ‘President Monson you have shaken my hand but I need an embrace.’ Without hesitation, Dad bent down and tenderly embraced this dear man.”
This message of service was reiterated by each speaker, including, Russell Nelson, the most senior church apostle expected to take Monson’s place as the top Mormon leader.
“President Monson never sought the limelight," Nelson said. "In a world saturated with 'selfies,' he modeled selflessness.”
Monson, in many respects, shied away from the world stage. Unlike the funeral for his predecessor Gordon Hinckley, the 21,000 seats of the conference center were not entirely filled.
He was not a leader known for bold declarations or photo ops, but to Mormons Monson will be remembered as a man who embodied and encouraged expressions of love through small acts of kindness. The more personal and private, the better.