FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2018
USCIRF Mourns the Passing of Thomas S. Monson, Leader of the LDS Church
Chairman Mark calls Monson “the embodiment of a lifelong commitment to the church’s mission.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Thomas S. Monson, prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before his passing on January 2, President Monson served the LDS Church as an Apostle for more than 54 years, spending his final decade as its 16th president.
Speaking to a church conference in 2013, Monson emphasized the importance of respecting the religious freedom of all people. He said, “I admonish you to be good citizens of the nations in which you live and good neighbors in your communities, reaching out to those of other faiths as well as to our own. May we be tolerant of, as well as kind and loving to, those who do not share our beliefs and our standards.”
USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark described Monson as “the embodiment of a lifelong commitment to the church’s mission. He strongly believed in religious freedom and actively traveled the world, addressing tens of thousands of people in countless countries over his half-century of service. His passing is a great loss for the LDS Church and all people of good will.”
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or John D. Lawrence, Director of Communications (JLawrence@USCIRF.gov/ +1-202-786-0611).