Wednesday, January 3, 2018

President Thomas S. Monson on death and life through the Savior

President Thomas S. Monson (August 21, 1927—January 2, 2018) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley until becoming Church president in 2008. He led the Church for almost a decade.
"Life moves on. Youth follows childhood, and maturity comes ever so imperceptibly. As we search and ponder the purpose and the problems of life, all of us sooner or later face the question of the length of life and of a personal, everlasting life. These questions most insistently assert themselves when loved ones leave us or when we face leaving those we love.
"At such times, we ponder the universal question, best phrased by Job of old, who centuries ago asked, 'If a man die, shall he live again?' (Job 14:14) ...
"My brothers and sisters, we laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die. Death is our universal heritage. All must pass its portals. Death claims the aged, the weary and worn. It visits the youth in the bloom of hope and the glory of expectation. Nor are little children kept beyond its grasp. In the words of the Apostle Paul, 'It is appointed unto men once to die.' (Hebrews 9:27)
"And dead we would remain but for one Man and His mission, even Jesus of Nazareth....
"Through tears and trials, through fears and sorrows, through the heartache and loneliness of losing loved ones, there is assurance that life is everlasting. Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that such is so.
"With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with the Father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the firstfruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again. 'Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: "I know that my Redeemer lives!"' (Hymns, no. 136; see also Job 19:25.) May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge."
- Thomas S. Monson, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives!," General Conference, April 2007
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Thomas S. Monson was one of the greatest optimists of our time—always hopeful, always smiling. It seemed the sun always shined on President Monson. But he also understood reality. He understood the sorrow and suffering that come when one we love parts from us. He expressed beautifully in this message the challenges of death, but yet the eternal hope of everlasting life:

President Monson left no doubt of his firm and sure witness of the Redeemer, the Savior, the Resurrection and the Life. We are so grateful for his many years of service, leadership, teaching, and testimony that leave a remarkable legacy to bless the Church for a long time to come.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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