Prophet’s Teachings Often Focus on Helping Others

Contributed By From the Church News

  • 7 February 2013

President Thomas S. Monson speaks during the October 2009 General Conference.

“May we ever remember that the mantle of leadership is not the cloak of comfort but rather the robe of responsibility. May we reach out to rescue those who need our help and our love.” —President Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson’s five-year anniversary as Prophet and President of the Church was February 3, 2013. Following are highlights of his teachings during the past five years.


“Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out” (“Charity Never Faileth,” 2010 General Relief Society Meeting).


“As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? As holders of the priesthood of God, it is essential that we are able to face—with courage—whatever challenges come our way. Remember the words of Tennyson: ‘My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure’ ” (“Dare to Stand Alone,” October 2011 general conference).

At the funeral of Elder Jack H. Goaslind Jr. on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, President Thomas S. Monson places a rose on the casket of Elder Goaslind. Photo by R. Scott Lloyd.


“We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that ‘gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others’ ”  (“The Divine Gift of Gratitude,” October 2010 general conference).

Jesus Christ

“Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like Him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. It is His example which, if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.

“Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence.

President Thomas S. Monson and his wife, Sister Frances J. Monson, and daughter, Ann M. Dibb, pause for a photo after sacrament meeting during the Seminar for New Mission Presidents at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, June 27. Photo by Gerry Avant.

“Because He came, we know how to reach out to those in trouble or distress, wherever they may be.

“Because He came, death has lost its sting, the grave its victory. We will live again because He came.

“Because He came and paid for our sins, we have the opportunity to gain eternal life” (“Because He Came,” 2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotional).


“I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now” (“Finding Joy in the Journey,” October 2008 general conference).

“I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith” (“Be of Good Cheer,” April 2009 general conference).


“May we ever remember that the mantle of leadership is not the cloak of comfort but rather the robe of responsibility. May we reach out to rescue those who need our help and our love” (“Sugar Beets and the Worth of a Soul,” Ensign, July 2009, 7).

“For those members who have slipped from activity or who hold back and remain noncommittal, we can prayerfully seek for some way to reach them. Asking them to serve in some capacity may just be the incentive they need to return to full activity. But those leaders who could help in this regard are sometimes reluctant to do so. We need to bear in mind that people can change. They can put behind them bad habits. They can repent from transgressions. They can bear the priesthood worthily. And they can serve the Lord diligently” (“See Others as They May Become,” October 2012 general conference).

President Thomas S. Monson with 100-year-old Thelma Fetzer and her family in Salt Lake City, Utah, Friday, April 9, 2010. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.


“The Savior taught His disciples, ‘For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.’

“I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives” (“What Have I Done for Someone Today?” October 2009 general conference).

President Monson shakes hands with family members as he leaves the funeral for Sister Ruth Faust, wife of the late President James E. Faust, February 13, 2008. Photo by Tom Smart.


“Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple? Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure. They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort” (“The Holy Temple—A Beacon to the World,” April 2011 general conference).