WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today spoke on the Senate floor to honor the life of Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After more than seven decades of church leadership and service, President Monson passed away on Jan. 2, 2018.
“There is much that can be said about what President Monson taught us from the pulpit. There is much more to be learned from what he did when he wasn’t speaking. The sick that he visited, the weary he sustained, the jobless he aided, the homeless he sheltered,” said Flake. “A reoccurring theme throughout his life and ministry was ‘The Rescue.’ May we do the same, by rushing to the rescue of those in need.”
Here is the video of Flake’s remarks:
A transcript of prepared remarks can be viewed below.
I rise today to honor the selfless and dedicated life of Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After nearly seven decades of church leadership and service, President Monson passed away on Tuesday evening. Millions of members of the LDS Church around the globe mourn his passing as we celebrate his life.
There is much that can be said about what President Monson taught us from the pulpit. There is much more to be learned from what he did when he wasn’t speaking. The sick that he visited, the weary he sustained, the jobless he aided, the homeless he sheltered.
A reoccurring theme throughout his life and ministry was “The Rescue.” He spoke movingly of a painting he had seen in a gallery in England that featured, as he described it:
“Heavy-laden black clouds and the fury of a turbulent sea portending danger and death. A light from a stranded vessel gleaming far off. In the foreground, tossed high by incoming waves of foaming water, a large lifeboat, men pulling mightily on the oars plunging into the tempest. On the shore stands a wife and two children, wet with rain and whipped by wind. They gaze anxiously seaward.”
“In my mind,” President Monson said, “I abbreviated the name of the painting. To me, it became ‘To the Rescue.’”
Throughout his life, President Monson went “to the rescue” of those in need. He possessed a genuine love for the sad, downtrodden, and the less fortunate.
He was quoted as saying, “I firmly believe that the sweetest experience in mortality is to know that our Heavenly Father has worked through us to accomplish an objective in the life of another person.”
This, he took to heart. In his early years of church service, President Monson presided over a congregation with 85 widows. Though he was their appointed church leader for just a few short years, the love he felt for these widows was evident. He continued to visit each widow throughout her remaining life and was present at the funeral of each of his dear friends.
He encouraged all of us to “extend the hand that helps and the heart that knows compassion.”
My colleagues would be interested to know that President Monson often quoted Abraham Lincoln, saying, “if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”
President Monson’s example of service and ‘rescue’ was recognized by many world leaders. In an effort to promote the American spirit of generosity, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to his Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives. President Monson met with religious leaders of all faiths to talk about the welfare program of the Church, which has been recognized as highly successful in its scope and mission.
In closing, President Monson’s daughter, Ann Monson Dibb, observed how her father embodied the scripture in James that reads:
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Mr. President, there is no better description of the life and legacy of President Thomas S. Monson. May we do the same, by rushing to the rescue of those in need.