President Monson was 22 was he was called to be a bishop in 1950. In 1955 he was called to the stake presidency. In 1959, at the age of 31, he was called as president of the Canadian Mission, and in 1963, at age 36, he was called as a member of the Council of the Twelve. In December 1981, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the President’s Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives, serving until the task force completed its work. In November 1985 he was set apart as second counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson and on June 5, 1994, as second counselor to President Howard W. Hunter. He was set apart as first counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley and as President of the Council of the Twelve on March 12, 1995.
Hundreds of people can tell stories about President Monson’s acts of charity. One such story [in File] tells of an occasion in East Germany when he gave literally gave a man the suit off his back. He has taken a new suit to that man every time he has returned to East Germany.
President Monson has often said, “Man’s extremity becomes God’s opportunity.” — Excerpts from Church News, March 18, 1995