When President Monson was in the First Presidency, I rarely took notes on his talks. Other speakers at General Conference would get a paragraph or so in my notebook, where I’d jot down the scriptures, doctrinal points, inspirational quotes, and directives given by each.
But President Monson would usually just smile and tell cute stories that illustrated a simple principle (usually service). He might frame a talk around a few basic imperatives (kneel down to pray, go forth to serve, etc.), but the bulk of his talks were just charming narrative. When he’d come up, I’d set my notebook aside and just listen and enjoy.
I loved the way he worked. His style had its own value—he seemed content to leave the heavy stuff to the other guys, and he’d come in and be the coach pumping us up, motivating us by building desire to follow the examples in his stirring stories.
But I think there’s been a big change in him in the last three years since he became president of the church. I first noticed it in his closing remarks to the April 2009 General Conference. Continue reading