U alumnus Monson named LDS President

By By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

Thomas S. Monson was named the new president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a press conference in the Church Administration Building on Monday. Monson is the successor to Gordon B. Hinckley, who died Jan. 27 from natural causes.

Monson’s appointment continues the tradition of U students and graduates being among the leadership in the church.

Monson earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at the U and received an honorary doctorate of business for his contributions to the state from his career in publishing during the commencement ceremony last year, where he was the keynote speaker.

“I am-and have always been- proud to say that I graduated from this university,” Monson said during the ceremony. “Although many of the beautiful buildings, which grace this campus today, had not yet been built when I attended classes here, I walked the same ground you have walked and learned many of the lessons you have learned.”

Monson said that although there was a lack of technology, students learned other ways to communicate and build relationships.

“We do not live alone in our city, our nation or our world,” Monson said. “There is no dividing line between our prosperity and our neighbor’s wretchedness. Try as some of us may, we cannot escape the influence our lives have upon the lives of others. Ours is the opportunity to build, to lift, to inspire and to lead. We cannot be careless in our reach. Lives of others depend on us. The power to lead is indeed the power to mislead, and the power to mislead is the power to destroy.”

Hinckley also graduated from the U, receiving a degree in English and later an honorary doctorate.

“President Hinckley was such a giant-a giant of knowledge, of faith, of love, of testimony, of compassion, of vision,” Monson said during Hinckley’s funeral services Feb. 2. “I cannot adequately express how much I miss him. It’s difficult to recall a time when he and I did not know each other. We were friends a long time before either one of us was called to be a general authority of the (LDS) Church, and we have served side by side for over 40 years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and in the First Presidency. We have shared much over the years, heartache and happiness, sorrow and laughter.”

At the meeting, Monson also announced that Henry B. Eyring will act as first counselor and Deiter F. Uchtdorf will take the position of second counselor in the LDS First Presidency.

Because of Uchtdorf’s new appointment, there is now an open spot in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Monson will either announce who will fill in the position soon or wait until the next LDS General Conference, which will take place in April.

Traditionally, the senior apostle has become the president, with the next senior apostle leading the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The process of succession is viewed by members of the church as a divine process, devoid of electioneering or internal lobbying.

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Associated Press

Thomas S. Monson was announced as the new president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a news conference. Henry B. Eyring, left, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, will be his councilors during his presidency.