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Thomas S. Monson Quotes

Gain insights from this inspiring leader.

Thomas S. Monson quotes include inspiring wisdom like, “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live for it.” The Latter-day Saint prophet was known for witty quotes stemming from his personal stories of obedience and sacrifice. Similar to our Joseph Smith Quotes, this page contains quotations from the 16th president of the Church about topics like temples, happiness, service, the Holy Ghost, and more.


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Table of Contents


Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Choices

Choices Determine our Destiny

It has been said that the gate of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny.


“Choose You This Day,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2004, 67.

Decisions Determine Destiny

Each of us has the responsibility to choose. You may ask, “Are decisions really that important?” I say to you, decisions determine destiny. You can’t make eternal decisions without eternal consequences.

“Pathways to Perfection,” Ensign, May 2002, 100.

Choose the Harder Right

May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day … if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice.

“Choices,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 86.

On Anger

To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice.

“School Thy Feelings, O My Brother,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 68.

A Lifetime of Righteousness

Eternal life … is not achieved in one glorious attempt but rather is the result of a lifetime of righteousness, an accumulation of wise choices, even a constancy of purpose. As with anything really worthwhile … eternal life requires effort.


“The Three Rs of Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 67.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Church Membership

A Robe of Responsibility

May we ever remember that the mantle of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe of responsibility.

“The Savior’s Call to Serve,” Ensign, Aug. 2012, 4.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Earth Life

Make a Happy Life

You do not find the happy life. You make it.

“Faces and Attitudes,” New Era, Sept. 1977, 49.

Past, Present, Future

The past is behind—learn from it; the future is ahead—prepare for it; the present is here—live in it.

“Go For It!” Ensign, May 1989, 43.

Painful Lessons

The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow to be more like our Father, and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons may be.

“God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 110.

Spiritual Refinement

This should be our purpose—to … become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life.

“I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 87.

Immersed in The Thick of Thin Things

We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we’re doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the “thick of thin things.” In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things.

“What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 85–86.

Make the Most of Today

There is no going back, but only forward. Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future.

“Dedication Day,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 66.

Do Better Today

It isn’t enough simply to say, “Tomorrow I am going to do better.” The Lord expects us to do better today.

“Traditions,” Dixie College Homecoming, November 2, 1986.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Family

The Laboratory of our Lives

The home is the laboratory of our lives, and what we learn there largely determines what we do when we leave there.

“Hallmarks of a Happy Home,” Ensign, Oct. 2001, 3.

Children Need Our Time

So frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time.

“The Path to Peace,” Ensign, May 1994, 62.

Happy Homes

Happy homes come in a variety of appearances. Some feature large families with father, mother, brothers, and sisters living together in a spirit of love. Others consist of a single parent with one or two children, while other homes have but one occupant.

“Hallmarks of a Happy Home,” Ensign, Oct. 2001, 3–4.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Gratitude

Think to Thank

Think to thank. In these three words you have the finest capsule course for a happy marriage, a formula for enduring friendships, and a pattern for personal happiness.

“Success Steps to the Abundant Life,” New Era, May 1971, 4.

Live with Gratitude in Our Hearts

My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.

“The Divine Gift of Gratitude,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 90.

Much For Which to be Grateful

Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.

“The Divine Gift of Gratitude,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 88.

An Attitude of Gratitude

We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.

“The Divine Gift of Gratitude,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 88.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About the Holy Ghost

Seek Guidance One Day at a Time

Seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit.

“Believe, Obey, Endure,” in Conference Report, April 2012.

A Warning Sonar

If man can invent sonar to warn against disaster, … doesn’t it seem reasonable that the Lord would place a warning device within his precious children, to warn them when they are on a detour from his pathway? … I refer to the still, small voice, the Holy Ghost.

“The Three R’s of Free Agency,” New Era, Apr. 1973, 4.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Jesus Christ

Jesus Changed Humans

Jesus changed men. He changed their habits, their opinions, their ambitions. He changed their tempers, their dispositions, their natures. He changed men’s hearts.

“The Paths Jesus Walked,” Ensign, Sept. 1992, 5–6.

Love is the Essence of the Gospel

Actually, love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar. His life was a legacy of love.

“Love—The Essence of the Gospel,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 91.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Kindness and Love

Go the Extra Mile for Inclusion

May we resolve from this day forward to fill our hearts with love. May we go the extra mile to include in our lives any who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way.


“May We So Live,” Ensign, Aug. 2008, 9.

Show Kindness and Respect

I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours.

“Looking Back and Moving Forward,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 90.
One set of popular Thomas S. Monson quotes comes from his general conference talk about charity.

People First

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.

“Finding Joy in the Journey,” in Conference Report, October 2008.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Prayer

Approach God as His Child

It is easy to let our prayers become repetitious, expressing words with little or no thought behind them. When we remember that each of us is literally a spirit son or daughter of God, we will not find it difficult to approach Him in prayer.

“How Firm a Foundation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 67.

The Lord is in the Details of our Lives

My brothers and sisters, our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives.

“Consider the Blessings,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 86–87, 88.

Spiritual Power

Prayer is the passport to spiritual power.

“That We May Touch Heaven,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 47.

Pray then Act

We need to pray, and then we need to act. Both are important.

“They Pray and They Go,” Ensign, May 2002, 49–50.

Pray for Power

Please do not pray – I plead with you – for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.

BYU Commencement, April 25, 1991.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Relationships

Kind Words and Affection

We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.

“Finding Joy in the Journey,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 86.

Find Joy in the Journey

Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows.

“Finding Joy in the Journey,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 86.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Service

Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Naked, House the Homeless

I extol those who, with loving care and compassionate concern, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless. He who notes the sparrow’s fall will not be unmindful of such service.

“The Doorway of Love,” Ensign, Oct. 1996, 7.

Service Leads to True Joy

No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.

“In Quest of the Abundant Life,” Ensign, Mar. 1988, 2, 5.

Give All

He who gives money gives much, he who gives time gives more, but he who gives of himself gives all.

“The Gifts of Christmas,” Ensign, Dec. 2003, 5.

Thomas S. Monson Quotes About Work

Vision and Work

Vision without work is daydreaming. Work without vision is drudgery. Vision, coupled with work, will ensure your success.

“Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” Weber State College Baccalaureate, May 31, 1968.

The Joys of Creation

God gives to us the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that we might know the joys and glories of creation.

“Your Future Awaits,” BYU College of Engineering and Technology Convocation, April 25, 2003.

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Thomas S. Monson FAQ

What was President Thomas S. Monson known for?

Thomas S. Monson might be best known for the care and devotion he gave to dozens of widows for decades after being released as a Latter-day Saint bishop. These inspiring stories often found their way into quotes given by the prophet at general conferences.


Who said never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person?

Thomas S. Monson said, “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” The famous quote comes from his talk, “Joy in the Journey,” which was given at the 2008 BYU Women’s Conference.


Who said to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong?

In his April 2016 general conference talk, “Choices,” President Thomas S. Monson counseled listeners, “May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.” It has since become one of his most famous quotes.


Further Reading

Thomas S. Monson Resources

By Chad Nielsen

Biotech professional. Armchair historian. Latter-day Saint.

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