SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) — In the same auditorium where thousands used to rise as Mormon leader Thomas S. Monson entered, a steady stream of mourners filed by his open casket and paid their last respects.

Monson, who led the 16-million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Jan. 2 at age 90 after months of declining health. An apostle since 1963, he became president in 2008.

Overseas visitors and LDS missionaries, along with church headquarters staff, were among the early mourners who attended the viewing on Thursday (Jan. 11) at the church’s 21,000-seat Conference Center, where the church’s biannual

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