"Tom Monson!"

Courtesty LDS Media Library
President Thomas S. Monson

A friend from work, Rob, recently told me about an experience he had with President Thomas S. Monson in the early 1990s.

Rob was a Sunday School president in his ward back then and he had been asked to take charge of a sacrament service at a care facility in his stake. Leadership in his ward took turns holding the meeting, and he had arranged with several youth to help him with talks and administering the sacrament.

As the meeting time approached, no youth appeared. Rob was getting nervous. Then a car pulled up in front of the building and out came President Monson from the back seat.

President Monson extended his hand to Rob and said with some energy, “Tom Monson!”

“I know who you are, President,” Rob replied. President Monson was a member of the First Presidency and a counselor to Ezra Taft Benson at the time. His mother had lived at the building before she died and he still visited there regularly.

Rob was embarrassed to admit that his plans for sacrament meeting were not coming together. President Monson assured Rob that they, the two of them, could pull something off and handle things just fine.

“Would you like me to bless the bread or the water?” President Monson asked.

“Well,” said Rob, “I think you are presiding.”

“Yes, but you are in charge.”

“Okay, will you do the bread then?”

President Monson agreed. Rob also asked him to be the concluding speaker. Rob would speak first.

They blessed and passed the sacrament together and gave extemporaneous talks. The meeting went very well. They parted company and President Monson went on to bless others at the care center. Rob was left with an unforgettable experience.

I have thought since about the youth who didn’t show up that day. How did they feel afterwards when they learned who and what they had missed that day? I know how I would have felt. This story is a reminder to me to be where I am supposed to be when I am supposed to be there.

One place I plan to be this weekend is at general conference, to listen to a prophet of God, President Thomas S. Monson. I love conference weekend. I am very excited to learn what the Lord would like me to learn and to feel the healing presence of His Spirit.

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