Family, LDS Church First Presidency share memories of Thomas S. Monson

SALT LAKE CITY -- Some of the people who knew LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson best shared their personal thoughts on the loss of a friend and leader.

“A great, great soul; I loved him,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.

“Will miss his friendship. I'll miss him as a friend,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.

His daughter, Ann M. Dibb, said he was a family man who set an example of love. She said not only did her parents demonstrate their love for each other, they made it a priority to create memories for the entire family.

“My children do have good memories with my parents," she said. "Whether it's sitting around the campfire at Vivian Park, roasting marshmallows at the cabin, or whether it's a trip, or whether it's just in the basement on a Sunday night: they have great remembrances and they always feel loved."

As the President of the Church, Monson had worldwide influence but was often credited with doing so with a personal touch.

“Everyone could feel comfortable in his presence," Uchtdorf said. "At the same time, when he walked with kings, with prime ministers, with presidents, with representatives of nations, it was the same way—they all felt that he was their friend."

“He loved the cultures of the world and deeply respected them, and particularly the faith of the people,” Eyring said.

“I'd love going to the airport with my mother to pick up my father from his assignment," Dibb said. "And, again, he would start telling stories as soon as he'd get into the car. They were faith promoting experiences."

From family experiences to travels around the world, the inspirations for President Monson became inspirations for many of the faithful.

“I did like his stories of World War II and how he’s able to use those experiences to invite the spirit,” said Elder Eppich of Blackfoot, Idaho.

“I've always felt my parents' love, their love for each other, and for each one of us," Dibb said. "And that has been one of the greatest blessings that they could ever give me."