Our prophet turned 89 on Sunday, August 21. And we wanted to join with members around the world to celebrate this incredible man.
An LDS Church News editor who has associated with President Monson for 45 years, who has photographed and reported on his meetings with members, his visits with religious leaders and royalty, and his travels recently reflected on the one thing that stands out the most about this giving family man and devoted servant of the Lord.
"I’ve gleaned many impressions of President Monson, but one stands out: He treats everybody with the same respect and courtesy that he gives dignitaries. While giving deference to an office or title, he sees everyone as brothers and sisters, children of Heavenly Father. Latter-day Saints everywhere call him 'President Monson.' Quite often, as when he has placed a telephone call, he has said, 'This is Brother Monson' or, more familiarly, 'This is Tom.'"
President Monson's genuine care for others shines through everything he does, and his ability to follow the whisperings of the Spirit make him sensitive and loving to the needs of all those he comes in contact with.
In years past, President Monson has said the best birthday gift members could give him is to do something kind for other people. So, as we honor our prophet, let's all follow his counsel:
"May we be a little kinder and more thoughtful. May we reach out in helpfulness, not only to our fellow members but also to those who are not of our faith. As we associate with them, may we show our respect for them.
'There are those who struggle every day with challenges. Let us extend to them our concern, as well as a helping hand. As we care for each other, we will be blessed.
"May we remember the elderly and those who are homebound. As we take time to visit them, they will know that they are loved and valued. May we follow the mandate to 'succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.'
"May we be people of honesty and integrity, trying to do the right thing at all times and in all circumstances. May we be faithful followers of Christ, examples of righteousness, thus becoming lights in the world.'"