To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson

by Heidi S. Swinton

To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson
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“The sweetest experience in mortality is to know that our Heavenly Father has worked through us,” says President Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But he does more than say it — he lives it. Throughout his life, he has been an instrument in the Lord's hands, one through whom the work of the kingdom of God is lovingly carried out.

President Monson cares about people by the millions; he has traveled the earth to bless countless lives in unnumbered lands. He may be known best, though, for caring about people one by one. He takes time for those who may have been mostly forgotten by others. He recognizes the person in the crowd who might need the extra bit of attention he can provide. He goes where the Spirit leads him — even if it means traversing continents to offer a priesthood blessing to a suffering friend.

To the Rescue chronicles the life and ministry of this extraordinary leader. It is filled with the heartwarming personal accounts so typical of President Monson — some that have become favorites over time and many others that have not been told before. Readers will be transported to his childhood, where he learned his first lessons about reaching out to others. They will glimpse his school experiences, his hobbies (especially his prize Birmingham roller pigeons), his military service in the navy, and his courtship with Frances Johnson, who would become his eternal companion and greatest support.

Most important, readers will observe Thomas S. Monson going “to the rescue” in his more than six decades of devoted Church service. Called as a bishop at age twenty-two, as a counselor in a stake presidency at age twenty-seven, as a mission president at age thirty-one, and as a member of a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at age thirty-six, he became early on a skilled administrator and a tireless servant of the Lord. He oversaw the work of the Church in East Germany for more than twenty years, beginning with hushed meetings held in automobiles to avoid listening devices and culminating in the dedication of a temple behind the Iron Curtain. He played key roles in landmark programs in the Church, from correlation to welfare to the publication of the LDS editions of the scriptures. And through it all, he recognized people as individuals and ministered to their need in personal ways.

“I testify that each one of us can feel the Lord's inspiration as we live worthily and strive to serve Him,” President Monson has taught. To the Rescue demonstrates the truth of that teaching, illustrating its power in the life of one remarkable man.

Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction: To the Rescue
1. A Heritage of Faithful Souls
2. Between the Railroad Tracks
3. "I Want To Be a Cowboy!"
4. Like Huck Finn on the River
5. Becoming a Gentleman
6. School Days
7. The Greatest Lessons
8. Starting a Family
9. "Decisions Determine Destiny"
10. Always a Bishop
11. "He Went About Doing Good
12. "Have Courage, My Boy"
13. "O Canada"
14. Called to General Church Committees
15. A Special Witness
16. Serving in the Twelve
17. "He Was Everywhere
18. Near and Far
19. "Weary Not"
20. Faith of the People
21. The Wall Comes Down
22. The Work Goes Forward
23. Poised for Growth
24. Opening Doors
25. Neighbor Helping Neighbor
26. There Are No Coincidences
27. Ordained in Heaven
28. "Loyal, Helpful, Friendly ..."
29. An Indomitable Spirit
30. The Consummate Counselor
31. Reaching Out to the One
32. Joy in the Journey
Timeline
Notes

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Reviews

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based upon 14 reviews
This was a great witness of a prophet
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I just finished reading To the Rescue and it was a great witness of a true Prophet of God.

"To the Rescue" is best book I ever read!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

"To the Rescue" is such an inspirational book! Throughout his life, President Monson has always reached out to the one, giving his time freely. He listens to the promptings he receives from the Holy Ghost to find those who need him, and then he acts. What a wonderful example he has set for all of us. I will strive harder to follow in his footsteps. President Monson's biography is the best book I have ever read.

This book reminded me to love others others
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I have been anticipating the opportunity to read this book. I was not disappointed. Upon reading only the first few chapters I found myself looking at others around me and wondering how can I be of help to them? I was looking at others with new eyes. I quickly found myself doing as President Monson would as I stopped and talked with my neighbor, a widow, today. I thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I learned so much from reading about the humble and wise leaders of President Monson's youth that taught through their example how to be a loving leader. I particularly loved reading the poem written by his father at his birth. It is clear poetry was a part of his life from the beginning. I enjoyed reading of his boyhood visits to Vivian Park, the ballpark and his yearning for a pet. I was interested that his first calling was to be the Secretary of the Deacons Quorum. My son holds that same calling now. I hope he feels the same about his responsibility as President Monson did. Heidi Swinton's writing is beautiful, insightful and inspired me, through President Monson's life experiences, to be a better person who cares for those around me - perhaps a bit more than I did before. Heidi Swinton is a memory weaver. The product of her work, this biography, is a wonderful opportunity for all to learn more about this ebullient prophet with a "big heart."

About the Author

Heidi S. Swinton

Heidi S. Swinton is an award-winning author and screenwriter whose works include the PBS documentaries American Prophet; Sacred Stone; Sweetwater Rescue; Trail of Hope; and America’s Choir. She has served on the Relief Society general board and as a member of Church writing committees. She is the author of President Thomas S. Monson’s biography, To the Rescue. She served with her husband, Jeffrey C. Swinton, as he presided over the England London South Mission (2006–2009); they are the parents of five sons, four living, and have four daughters-in-law and six grandchildren.

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