Thomas S. Monson, tapped to succeed Gordon B. Hinckley as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has spent his entire career in the service of the LDS church. He has worked in Salt Lake City alongside every Mormon president since 1963, when, at age 36, he was named to the LDS church’s council of 12 apostles. Monson was a counselor to Hinckley, who died January 27 at the age of 97.
Hinckley’s death came at a time of unprecedented exposure for the Mormon faith, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney competing for the Republican nomination for president. “Like all people who knew him, we were deeply touched by his humility, his sense of humor and by the way he inspired so many people around the world,” Romney said of Hinckley.