Memorable and heartwarming moments in the life of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) were shown during “Golden Days: A Celebration of Life” in the Church’s Conference Center Friday, 17 August 2012. President Thomas S. Monson was the guest of honor celebrating his 85th birthday. His wife of 63 years, Frances, was by his side, along with family and friends who shared the evening with him.
Favorite music that has had special meaning in President Monson’s life was performed by two Broadway actors and singers, a renowned tenor and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. Important events in President Monson’s life were told through video clips and narration. Thousands of people who came to honor the Mormon leader of more than 14 million Latter-day Saints enjoyed the program.
Also on the program were the night’s masters of ceremony, former San Francisco 49ers star quarterback and pro football Hall-of-Famer Steve Young and national network news anchor and author Jane Clayson Johnson.
Performers included Rebecca Luker, known for her appearances on Broadway, television and concert stages throughout the world; Stanford Olsen, a distinguished tenor who has sung to audiences in famed opera houses around the world; and Dallyn Vail Bayles, who has toured with the companies of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.
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Though President Monson had an idea of what was on the program, there were some surprises, such as the tribute to his support of Scouting. Near the beginning of the program, as the narrator was talking about President Monson’s love of Scouting, hundreds of area Boy Scouts, each carrying an American flag, marched down the aisles from the rear of the Conference Center to the stage.
Another surprise was the audience singing the traditional “Happy Birthday” song to the 85-year- old Church leader.
At the conclusion, a smiling and enthusiastic President Monson greeted the many in attendance.
Watch the entire birthday celebration broadcast on lds.org