'Until we meet again': Thousands mourn Mormon presidentJanuary 11, 2018 11:29pm

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.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Romney mentor, Bain & Co. founder, William Bain Jr. diesWilliam Bain Jr., who founded global consulting and private equity businesses that helped drive the career of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has died
FILE - In this Dec. 2, 1977 file photo, U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale, left, points out a sign in the crowd to U.S. Rep. Tom Luken, D-Ohio, at dedication ceremonies for a new bus terminal area in downtown Cincinnati.   The former Ohio congressman and Cincinnati mayor who was a Democratic force in a decades-long political career and known for mentoring young politicians such as Jerry Springer has died.  Luken's son, Charlie Luken, told reporters that his father passed away Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo)
Memorial Mass held for former Ohio congressman, mayor
Charges unsealed against man linked to bin Laden, al-QaidaU.S. authorities say they want a German man who provided critical support to Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks to face trial in the United States
Snow collects in the hair of David Dafashy at College of William & Mary on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Williamsburg, Va. (Aileen Devlin/The Daily Press via AP)
At least 10 deaths from snow, ice and record cold in South
In this Oct. 29, 2011 image made from a video provided by A Elvis Chapel, David Allen Turpin and his wife, Louise Anna Turpin, kiss while celebrating a renewal of their wedding vows with Elvis impersonator Kent Ripley, at right, in Las Vegas. The couple was arrested Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, after authorities found their malnourished children in their home in suburban Perris, Calif., 60 miles (96 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles. The couples' 13 children, ages 2 to 29, were so emaciated the older ones still looked like children. (A Elvis Chapel via AP)
13 siblings held captive were likely coerced to remain quiet
FILE--In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, Gideon and Jeanne Bernstein, parents of missing teen Blaze Bernstein, pictured at left, are joined by Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Brad Valentine, right, during a news conference in Lake Forest, Calif. A suspect has been arrested in the death of 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein, whose body was found this week at a Southern California park. (AP Photo/Amy Taxin, file)
Suspect charged with murder in college student's killing
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices