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Thousands turn out for funeral of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson

Thousands of faithful Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members, family and friends gathered in downtown Salt Lake City at noon Friday, for the funeral of former LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson.

The LDS Conference Center at Temple Square opened at 10:30 a.m. It seats 21-thousand, but seating was available on a first-come, first-served basis for anyone age 8 and older.

Four speakers spoke of their memories and testimonies of Monson. His daughter Ann M. Dibb, thanked all the many who served her father in his later years and spoke directly to her father for a moment.

“Dear Father, it has been a sacred blessing and an honor to watch after you as my devoted mother requested. I know we have had angels round about us to bear us up,” said Dibb.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, reflected on his friend and mentor.

“I’m reminded what the apostle Peter said of Jesus, his friend and teacher, He said, ‘he went about doing good.’ The same can be said of the man we loved, respect, and sustained as a prophet of God, our friend and God’s friend, Thomas Spencer Monson,” said Uchtdorf.

First Counselor President Henry B. Eyring, who conducted the service, echoed the thoughts of Sister Dibb, of how President Monson was cared for in his final hours.

“He believed that the Lord went before him and that angels were placed around him to bear him up. That proved true. His daughter Ann, who has spoken so movingly today, stood near him hours before he passed away. I was blessed to be there. As I looked on his face, I thought that the Lord’s promise was being fulfilled. He had been surrounded and born up by human angels and perhaps more. I felt the assurance that the resurrected Lord, who has gone before him into the Spirit World, waited with outstretched arms. I felt a burning testimony, which I now bear to you, that President Monson knew the Lord,” said Eyring.

President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles closed the service with a direct witness and testimony of his faithful friend.

“I solemnly proclaim that President Thomas S. Monson was a prophet of God. He taught as a prophet and testified as a prophet. He had the courage of a prophet and the kindness of a prophet. He received revelation as a prophet and responded as a prophet. He lived as a prophet and died as a prophet. Seeing with his life, his testimony that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that His Church has been restored to the earth, and that this sacred work is true. To the testimony that he bore so many times from this pulpit, I humbly add mine, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen,” said Nelson.

At the conclusion of the funeral, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a very moving benediction. Musical selections were chosen by President Monson himself and were provided by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The funeral procession left from the LDS Conference Center and ended at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. The burial was private. President Monson’s son, Thomas L. Monson, dedicated his father’s grave.

More than 31,000 people attended the viewing Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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