SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney recalls late LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson as a warm and powerful spirit who never gave Romney political advice.

"He stayed out of politics. He may have had a personal political interest that I don't know about, but when it came to my political career, no, he just smiled and wished me his best," the former Republican presidential candidate said in an interview Friday.

Romney, who is Mormon, attended the late prophet's funeral Friday, saying afterward that it was a tender ceremony.

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Romney, rumored to be planning a run for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Republican Orrin Hatch, said his father, George Romney, knew President Monson well.

The church president told the younger Romney long ago that his father, once the governor of Michigan and a Republican presidential candidate, would lie down in the car for a nap during their travels together.

President Monson was a memorable speaker who "filled the room with power and goodness" and "lived the principles he taught," Mitt Romney said.

Contributing: Annie Knox