March 19, 2018

Mormon Church leader passes away at age 90

12 January 2018, 09:15 | Opal Carroll

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A church spokesperson says there are more than 10,000 members of the Latter-day Saints Church in Western New York and 16 million worldwide.

President Thomas S. Monson died Tuesday night at his home in Salt Lake City after leading the church for almost a decade.

In an address to Mormon millennials in 2016, President Nelson defended a controversial church policy set down by President Monson that declared gay Mormon couples to be apostates, and barred their children from most religious rites until they turn 18.

In a statement, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo called Monson " ... a great leader, a kind man who spent more than half a century in service to others through his responsibilities in the Church.

Monson assumed leadership of the church in 2008 after the death of President Gordon Hinckley, whom Monson had advised as first counselor - effectively the No. 2 position. He also served as a General Authority and a member of the Qorum of the 12, during which he oversaw LDS overseas missions in Europe, including behind the Iron Curtain. "I hope I work effectively, but I never feel I have exhausted what I should be doing" (Gerry Avant, Church News, Feb. 9, 2008).

The church said on its website that in addition to his life-long dedication to the Mormon faith, Monson was reported to have had a "broad business background" as well, having led a successful career in the church-affiliated publishing industry. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his three children and the rest of the Monson family", he said.

Monson kicked the bucket on Tuesday evening encompassed by his family, the congregation said in an announcement on its site. Monson called for introspection for Mormonism support of slavery and promotion of polygamy.

Throughout his life, Monson was an avid fisherman who also raised homing pigeons, specifically, roller pigeons who twirled as they flew.

His wife, Frances Monson, passed away in 2013.

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According to, Nelson was born in 1924 in Salt Lake City.

Remembering the life and legacy of President Thomas S. Monson (1927-2018).

Condolences also came in from Arizona Sen.

"He died at age 90 from causes incident to age", it said.

The number of missionaries grew by 37 percent the following year after Monson altered the minimum age requirement. The change triggered a historic influx of missionaries, and proved a milestone change for women by allowing many more to serve.

Being one of the president's two counselors doesn't push them to the front of the line to become the next president.

His successor has not yet been named, but is widely expected to be Russell M. Nelson.

"President Monson had all the hallmarks of an unassuming servant of the Lord", the church said in a statement.

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