Lesson Helps

FHE: Thomas S. Monson


Conference Talk: For a message from President Monson read "Closing Remarks," by Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, Nov 2009, 109-10.

Thought: I love you, my brothers and sisters. I pray for you. I would ask once again that you would remember me and all the General Authorities in your prayers. We are one with you in moving forward this marvelous work. I testify to you that we are all in this together and that every man, woman, and child has a part to play (Thomas S. Monson, "Closing Remarks," Ensign, Nov 2009, 109-10).

Song: "Master, the Tempest is Raging," Hymns, #105

"We had a chorister who taught us boys how to sing. If we responded properly, Sister Waters let us choose a favorite hymn to sing." Inevitably, the selection was: "Master, the Tempest is Raging." (Thomas S. Monson, "Peace, Be Still," Liahona, Nov 2002, 53-56.)

Scripture: Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord's errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord's business (One of President Monson's favorite scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 64:29).

Highlights from the Life of Thomas S. Monson:

  • 1927: Born in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 1935: Baptized in Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City
  • 1948: Graduated from University of Utah
  • 1948: Married Frances Johnson
  • 1950: Became a bishop (age 22)
  • 1959: Became Mission President of the Canadian Mission
  • 1963: Became an apostle
  • 1969: Became a member of the National Executive Board of Boy Scouts of America (still is a member)
  • 1973: First book, Pathways to Perfection, published (has since published 10 others)
  • 1985: Became a member of the First Presidency
  • 2008: Became the President of the Church
  • 2009: Dedicated the Oquirrh Mountain and Draper, Utah temples (has also dedicated 12 other temples around the world)

Hobbies: Raising pigeons and fishing

Occupation: Publishing and printing

Stories: I have many memories of my boyhood days. Anticipating Sunday dinner was one of them. Just as we children hovered at our so-called starvation level and sat anxiously at the table with the aroma of roast beef filling the room, Mother would say to me, "Tommy, before we eat, take this plate of food I've prepared down the street to Old Bob, and then hurry back."

I could never understand why we couldn't first eat and later deliver his plate of food. I never questioned aloud but would run down to his house and then wait anxiously as Bob's aged feet brought him eventually to the door. Then I would hand him the plate of food. He would present to me the clean plate from the previous Sunday and offer me a dime as pay for my services. My answer was always the same: "I can't accept the money. My mother would tan my hide." He would then run his wrinkled hand through my blond hair and say, "My boy, you have a wonderful mother. Tell her thank you."

You know, I think I never did tell her. I sort of felt Mother didn’t need to be told. She seemed to sense his gratitude. I remember, too, that Sunday dinner always seemed to taste a bit better after I had returned from my errand (Thomas S. Monson, "The Joy of Service," New Era, Oct 2009, 2-6.).

When I was young, my friends and I often played ball in an alley behind our home. A woman named Mrs. Shinas rented a tiny house nearby, and she used to watch us play from her window. She rarely came out of her house, and when she did, she never smiled. We all thought that she was mean. She had a big dog, an English setter, and whenever one of our baseballs rolled in its direction -- which happened often—Mrs. Shinas would send the dog to fetch it. We wouldn't see the ball again. Soon we ran out of baseballs.

In those days, we didn't have lawn sprinklers, and so each day I watered our lawn by hand with a hose. One day as I stood there watering our little stretch of grass, I noticed that Mrs. Shinas's lawn looked a little shabby. It took only a few more minutes to water it, too, and soon I was watering her lawn each day.

When autumn came that year, one of my tasks was to clear our yard of leaves. I sprayed the ground with a hose, pushing the leaves into a pile with the force of the water. I decided to gather up the leaves on Mrs. Shinas's yard as well, and as I was doing this one day, she came to her door and beckoned for me to come inside. I turned off the hose and went into her house.

She invited me to sit in her living room, and she gave me a cookie and a glass of milk. As I sat there eating my cookie, she showed me her collection of little china dogs. I could tell that they were her most prized possession. Then she thanked me for taking care of her lawn. It was the first conversation I had ever had with her.

Mrs. Shinas then went into her kitchen and returned with a box. In it were all the baseballs that her dog had taken. She handed me the box, said thank you—and smiled! It was the first time I'd ever seen her smile.

I believe that love is shown by how you live, how you serve, and how you bless others. When we serve others, we are showing them that we love them, and we are also showing Jesus Christ that we love Him (Rebecca M. Taylor and Thomas S. Monson, "Friend to Friend," Friend, Oct 1996, 6.).

Activity: Find a seed and the fruit or vegetable it came from (or a picture of them). An apple seed would work well for this illustration. Also, prepare a piece of paper for each family member with the following written on it, but do not give it to them until later.

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Lead image from Wikimedia Commons
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