January 24, 2019

Mormon church head Thomas Monson dies at 90

12 January 2018, 09:16 | Devin Moran

For Mormons, Succession Drama Is Against Their Religion

Thomas S. Monson, president of Mormon church, dies at 90

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced via email Tuesday night that President Thomas S. Monson died at age 90, due to complications related to age.

Monson, who as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for almost a decade dramatically grew its missionary corps and upheld a long-standing opposition to same-sex marriage, despite the increasing acceptance of gay rights within and beyond the faith, died January 2 at his home in Salt Lake City.

If the motion to reorganize is passed, the Quorum of the Twelve will unanimously select the new president, who will assume the top role in the almost 16 million-member church.

"When I look at his life, he was a member of the Church everyone could relate to and everyone could feel comfortable in his presence", added President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency. The announcement of his death garnered an outpouring of reactions and remembrances from various Mormon politicians, according to Fox13. His presidency was marked by his noticeably low profile during a time of intense publicity for the church, including the 2008 and 2012 campaigns of Mormon Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination. Monson also called for introspection over some of the darker areas of Mormonism's past including polygamy, which the church ended in 1890, and institutional racism, which barred African Americans from the priesthood and in the earliest days of the religion was used to justify slavery.

President Monson was called by revelation and sustained by the general membership of the Church to be an apostle when he was only 36 years old in 1963. The couple had three children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A private burial service will take place at the Salt Lake City Cemetery following the funeral.

Perhaps best-known for his breakout role in Napoleon Dynamite, actor Jon Heder was raised Mormon and spent two years of his life serving a mission in Japan.

Though Prop 8 passed, it was eventually struck down as being unconstitutional, and that wasn't the end of Monson's anti-gay work.

President Nelson is unlikely to deviate much from President Monson's conservative course, Professor Cannon said.

Condolences also came in from Arizona Sen. Orrin Hatch, who said of Monson, "Service was his motto and humility his hallmark". He lowered the qualifying age of missionaries for both men and women, sparking an increase in the number of missionary members.

He also created more conciliation for historical tragedies.

The Mormon church announced the death in a statement but did not cite a specific cause.

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