BY ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
ver the course of his many callings in the Church,President Thomas S.Monson has moved from office tooffice, location to location. Withevery move he has carefully taken with him a particular painting. Hehas had it since he was a bishop in the 1950s. He took it withhim when he presided over the Canadian Mission, head-quartered in Toronto. It now hangs in the office he occupiesas President of the Church. The painting is a striking imageof the Lord Jesus Christ by famed artist Heinrich Hofmann.The painting is more than a decoration for the office wall. It is more than a reminder of who is the “chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20) of The Church of Jesus Christof Latter-day Saints. It is more than a declarationthat the man called to be President of the Churchis expected to be chief among the living wit-nesses of the Savior. The painting representsan ideal—the Master after whom ThomasMonson has modeled his life. “I love thatpainting,” President Monson said as he gazedat it yet again. “I feel strength in having it near me. Look at the kindness in those eyes. Lookat the warmth of expression. When fac-ing difficult situations, I often lookat it and ask myself, ‘What wouldHe do?’ Then I have tried torespond accordingly.”That loyalty to the Lord, thatconstant reference to the Master’sexample, that determination to walkthe path marked by the Savior— these are the principal characteris-tics of Thomas S. Monson’s life andleadership. Many of the stories about his discipleship are well-known. This is the lad who gave up a treasured toy because he thought another boy needed it more and gaveaway his two pet rabbits so thata friend’s family could haveChristmas dinner. This is the young bishop who took greatcare to minister to 84 widows inhis ward—and kept them in hisheart for decades. This is theGeneral Authority who was
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MASTER
Top: A teenage Thomas Monson (second from left) with members of his family, including his mother and father (seated in front). Above and left: As a boy,President Monson was known as “Tommy.” Opposite page: President Thomas S. Monson with his wife,Frances, at the Nauvoo Illinois Temple.
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