Mourners share stories of personal encounters with President Thomas S. Monson

"Very kind and loving": LDS Prophet left impression on people he met

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) -  Tens of thousands filed through the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Conference Center Thursday to pay their respects to President Thomas S. Monson at a public viewing on the eve of his funeral.

Robin Smith-Sisam met President Monson at the Church office building 48 years ago when he was an apostle and she was in junior high.
"He walks up to us. He extends his hand out to me and says 'Hi. I'm Tommy Monson'," Smith-Sisam told News4Utah. "I mean he was gigantic. He was just very nice. Very kind and loving."

Bryce Larsen spoke with Monson at a missionary reunion in 2008, just after Monson took over as the 16th President of the Church.
"He asked me a strange question," Larsen said. "He said 'Brother Larsen how tall are you?' I was surprised and I told him I was about 6'3" and he said 'Well then let's you and I back to back to see who's taller' so he and I back to backed to see who's taller and we found out that he's a little bit taller than me by one inch."
Scott Woodbury has known Monson his entire life.

"He and my mother are first cousins and so I'm a cousin once removed," Woodbury said.

Woodbury fondly remembers his Cousin Tom at family events throughout the years: reunions, weddings, funerals and the one time in 1968 when Monson and his wife Frances paid a surprise visit to him and his companions while he was serving a mission in Edinburgh, Scotland.

"I had 90 dollars to get me through the whole month on my mission and that converted to about 30 pounds," Woodbury said. "He gave me a five pound note which was a lot of money to us and he said 'I want you to take these folks out to dinner' and so I thought 'Tom this is a five pound note, this isn't a five dollar...He says 'I know. I know' and he just smiled and they went their way and that's been a longstanding memory. Whenever he's at a family function, he always brings that up. The time he visited me on my mission."

Scott would go on to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for many years and he named one of his sons after President Monson.


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