Serving in the line of duty: President Thomas S. Monson

Published: Monday, Nov. 8 2010 6:00 a.m. MST

One in a series of experiences of LDS Church leaders who have served in the armed forces.

World War II

Thomas S. Monson, now president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, joined the United State Naval Reserve and within a few weeks time, the war ended in Europe. A few months later the war also saw an end in the Pacific. Though important, his time in the service was short, being less than a year from the beginning of active duty.

"You hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, Tom. Give me a blessing, please."

At the San Diego Naval Training Station, Thomas S. Monson knelt by the side of his suffering shipmate and heard his plea. Tom had been ordained an elder at 18, just before he left to serve his country in the Navy during World War II. In great humility he laid his hands on the young man's head, and with 200 sleepy-eyed recruits looking on he gave him a blessing. The next day the young many was able to go about his normal duties.

("Saints at War: Experiences of Latter-day Saints in World War II," page 365)

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