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Storytelling, humor mark Saints’ memories of President Monson

SALT LAKE CITY — After the death of President Thomas S. Monson, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many LDS faithful are remembering their prophet’s talent for humor and storytelling.

In April 2008, President Monson recalled this memorable exchange during a priesthood session, as he explained why it’s important to set a good example.

“I observed a young boy sitting with his family on the front row of the stake center,” President Monson remembered. “I began to notice that if I crossed one leg over the other, the young boy would do the same thing. If I reversed the motion and crossed the other leg, he would follow suit.”

So President Monson took it to a new level.

“I decided to put him to the test. I looked squarely at him, certain I had his attention. And then I wiggled my ears.”

He often used that sense of humor to relay a lesson.

“Sometimes we fathers forget that once, we too, were boys.”

He was again speaking about the importance of one person’s influence on another when he told this story about his son Clark and his pet snake, Herman.

“One day, to our amazement, Herman disappeared,” President Monson recalled. “His name should have been Houdini. He was gone… can you imagine my surprise, with my eyes focused on that drain, [and] Herman came swimming out, right for my face? I yelled out to my wife, ‘Frances! Here comes Herman!'”

President Monson laughed at himself as much as anyone else in his storytelling.

“My dear wife went to the hospital not long ago. She left a note behind for the children. ‘Dear children, do not let Daddy touch the microwave,'” he remembered with a chuckle.

But the stories others tell about him go beyond a sense of humor. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in October 2014 he would never forget President Monson, flying home from East Germany wearing house shoes, because he gave his extra shirts, suit and even shoes away to those who needed them more.