Last Friday morning I sat at work at my desk and saw the little blue indicator light go off on my phone. Casually picking it up I wasn’t prepared for the text message I was about to read from my girlfriend:
KSL NEWSRADIO: The wife of President Thomas S. Monson has died. LDS Church confirms she passed away peacefully this morning. Tune to 102.7 FM/1150AM.
I sat numb, in shock for a moment, and then tears came to my eyes as I thought of our beloved prophet and his deep feeling of loss at this time. For a moment, in a busy office with phones ringing and people talking loudly, my desk became a sacred spot as I asked for the Lord’s blessings upon the Monson family and gave thanks for a great woman of faith.
Today was Sister Frances J. Monson’s funeral.
To quote the Deseret News article on the services from this afternoon:
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, hailed Sister Monson as “a great lady and a true woman of Zion.”
Although she was primarily known by church members as one who complemented and supported her husband in every way, President Uchtdorf said “we also know of her depth of spirit and character.”
“She was indeed a wonderful woman in her own sphere,” he said. “We have enjoyed listening to her as she candidly shared her opinions and experiences. The sweetest compliment President Monson could give to (my wife) Harriet was when he said, ‘Frances and you are so much alike.’”
President Uchtdorf also noted Sister Monson’s personal desire to stay out of the spotlight.
“I don’t think that we have ever heard Sister Monson give lengthy talks,” he said. “But her compassionate, kind and gentle life is full of sermons by which we and the membership of this church are richly blessed and which will never be forgotten.”
Also from the Deseret News article,
Representing the family, Dibb shared four ways that her mother showed love during the course of her life — her love for her parents, her deep love for her family, her love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and her love for her husband, President Monson.
She told of a time about 12 years ago when her mother was recovering from double knee-replacement surgery and her father was scheduled to travel.
“The night before Dad was scheduled to travel he said, ‘I guess I’d better pack my bag. Where is my bag?’” Dibb said. “Sensing he might need some help, I took the shirts he had laid out and began to fold them and place them in the suitcase. My mother, in bed and in pain, said, ‘Ann, bring the bag to me and put it by my side. Give me the socks and Dad’s shirts. I know how to fold them just the way he likes them. That is my job. I’ve been packing his bag for 40 years.’
“My father and I watched and assisted, as directed, while my mother lovingly packed each item, ‘just the way he likes them.’
“As a girl,” Dibb continued, “I loved to read my mother’s beautiful and poetic patriarchal blessing, which concludes: ‘By the force of a noble and pure life (you will) be able to influence the lives of many with whom you will come in contact, for out of you will come forth an influence radiating hope adn cheer and holiness.’ That night was my mother packed my father’s bags, I was blessed to witness once again the force of her ‘noble and pure life.’”
Frances Monson led a noble life. She was a wife. A mother. A daughter of God. She led a pure life, and through her humble service provided countless millions with the gift of her husband’s ministry.
Thanks be to God for Frances Monson, her personal life, and the ministry which she quietly led as a mother in Zion. She was a true saint and woman of God.