clear
Wednesday April 25th, 2018 2:36AM

'Until we meet again': Thousands mourn Mormon president

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Danielle Cahoon brought her entire family to the public viewing Thursday for the Mormon church's deceased president to pay their respects and recapture a warm feeling she experienced at a previous viewing for another prophet of the faith.

"It was such a special spirit. We remembered that spirit, and I wanted all of my children to experience that and get a chance to say goodbye," said Cahoon, 39, of Saratoga Springs, Utah. "Even though we are sad that he is gone, we know and believe in eternal families, so it's more about paying our respects and saying, 'Until we meet again.'"

The Cahoons were among 10,000 people who had come to Salt Lake City by mid-afternoon to pay tribute to Thomas S. Monson, who died Jan. 2 at age 90 after nearly 10 years leading The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As head of the nearly 16 million-member faith, Monson was considered a prophet who led the church through revelation from God.

Boys and their fathers wearing suits and ties and girls and their mothers wearing their Sunday-best dresses solemnly stood in line inside the church conference center in a hallway lined with paintings of church leaders, waiting their turn to say goodbye.

They walked by slowly in single-file lines on each side of a large wooden casket adorned with elaborate floral bouquets. In front of the casket was an American flag in a shadow box, a nod to Monson's naval service.

The viewing, open until Thursday night, is a key component of how the religion mourns deceased presidents. In 2008, an estimated 58,000 people came to a two-day viewing for President Gordon B. Hinckley.

A funeral is scheduled Friday at the 21,000-seat arena in the same conference center. Top church leaders are expected to honor Monson's life.

The next president has not been named yet, but the job is expected to go to the next longest-tenured member of the church's governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M. Nelson, per church protocol. No date has been set for the special meeting of the Quorum in which Nelson will be anointed.

Monson spent more than five decades serving in top church leadership councils — making him a well-known face and personality to multiple generations of Mormons.

He served as a counselor for three church presidents before assuming the role of top Mormon leader in 2008. He guided the church through growth and a period of increased scrutiny about its history and doctrine.

Melanie McFarlane said she learned important lessons from Monson as she went through high school.

"I admired that he was so service-orientated, and I want to be like that in my life," said McFarlan, who came with her young son and a friend. "So I thought respecting him in this way was the least I could do."

Amanda Wilcoxen attended with her sisters and children to experience what she called an important day. She lamented that some people are fixated on the controversial elements of Monson's presidency, including his role leading the faith's involvement in the passage of a gay marriage ban in California in 2008.

"He should be known for all the good things that he did," Wilcoxen said. "He led a huge church nationwide and all the service our church does; he's just a great man."

Fifth-grader William "Liam" Richens took the day off from home-school to come with his whole family.

"It was sad, it was amazing, it was beautiful," he said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Walmart boosts starting pay, closing dozens of Sam's Clubs
Walmart to boost starting salary for US workers, but also closing dozens of Sam's Clubs nationwide
6:31PM ( 4 minutes ago )
'Until we meet again': Thousands mourn Mormon president
Thousands of Mormons are paying respects to their deceased president and prophet during a public viewing in Salt Lake City that comes a day before the funeral
6:29PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Teacher: board head should resign; marshal 'needs training'
The Louisiana teacher who was arrested after questioning her superintendent's pay raise at a school board meeting said Thursday the board's president should resign
6:18PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Bid to oust judge in Stanford swimmer case moves forward
Voters are a big step closer to deciding whether to oust a California judge under fire for his handling of a sexual assault case involving a Stanford University swimmer
5:57PM ( 38 minutes ago )
The Latest: White House won't deny Trump comment on Africa
President Donald Trump used profane language to disparage African nations in a meeting with lawmakers about a proposed bipartisan deal on immigration
5:51PM ( 44 minutes ago )
AP Exclusive: Pope letter details concern over Chile bishop
AP Exclusive: Pope letter describes offer of resignation, sabbaticals for bishops tied to Chile's most notorious pedophile
5:44PM ( 51 minutes ago )
AP National News
Bangladeshi man pleads not guilty in NYC subway bomb attack
A Bangladeshi immigrant still recovering from injuries suffered in the failed pipe bombing of the New York subway system has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges
5:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
US gives $2B to help homeless amid plans to cut housing aid
The Trump administration has announced more than $2 billion in grants for local agencies trying to help the homeless
5:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
Hopes of finding anyone alive dwindle in mud-stricken town
More than two full days after mudslides ravaged the Southern California town of Montecito, the search for the missing has become an increasingly desperate exercise, with hopes of finding anyone alive fading
4:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Walmart boosts starting pay, closing dozens of Sam's Clubs
Walmart to boost starting salary for US workers, but also closing dozens of Sam's Clubs nationwide
6:31PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Teacher: board head should resign; marshal 'needs training'
The Louisiana teacher who was arrested after questioning her superintendent's pay raise at a school board meeting said Thursday the board's president should resign
6:18PM ( 17 minutes ago )
What robot strippers say about sexism, tech and the future
What robot strippers say about sexism, tech and the future
6:15PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Hopes of finding survivors drop after California mudslides
The search for the missing has become an increasingly desperate exercise after mudslides swamped a California town
6:14PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Rescued Montecito teen's father killed, brother missing
Friends of family of girl dramatically rescued from flattened Montecito home rally to help as searchers continue to look for her father, brother
6:10PM ( 25 minutes ago )