Monday, January 28, 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley
June 23, 1910 - January 27, 2008

I wanted to document my feelings after learning that our dear prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley passed away at the incredible age of 97.  I had just come home from a really uplifting YW meeting at the stake center where I had given the opening prayer and prayed specifically for the prophet.  I asked that he would be blessed with health and the ability to continue to lead our church.  So, it felt strange and sad to learn he had died only a few hours after that prayer.  I had just crawled into bed when Chris called and said she had received a call from her brother in Utah, telling her President Hinckley had passed away.  I immediately called my parents to tell them but they'd already heard and in the course of our two minute conversation, Mom got three beeps--all with the same news.  She said news like this spreads like greased lightning.  
It was a sobering night, reflecting upon a man I loved and admired so much.

I thought about his challenge in 2005 for all church members to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year.  I am  so glad I accepted his challenge.  It was a wonderful feeling knowing, that so many people around the world were doing the same thing at the same time.  

He was such an inspiring leader.  He was always encouraging and upbeat--I never felt chastised or discouraged after listening to him speak; he made me want to follow his counsel.  I will remember his ability to relate to everyone.  I can't imagine him having an enemy.  He was so genuinely pleasant and positive and seemed to always focus on the good things going on in the world.  He was willing to speak with the media and his humor and good nature made everyone a fan, it seemed.  His example has helped me have a brighter outlook on life and toward mankind.

"This is my prayer for all of us--"Lord, increase our faith.  Increase our faith to bridge the chasms of uncertainty and doubt...Grant us faith to look beyond the problems of the moment to the miracles of the future...Give us faith to do what is right and let the consequence follow."

He reminded me so much of my Grandpa Mert.  Not just physically, but also with his easy laugh and his gentle nature. The similarities always made me feel that I knew him personally.  

"The Lord would want you to be successful.  He would.  You are His sons and His daughters.  He has the same kind of love and ambition for you that your earthly parents have."  


I love that he loved his wife.  He always validated her work as a wife and mother.  President Hinckley has helped me to feel happy with my own decision to stay home.  He knew how to put things in just the right way, and I always felt encouraged after listening to him talk about women and their purpose here on earth.

"My children are now all grown.  Some are in their 60's.  But when they call and I answer the phone, they say, "How are you?" And before I can answer, they ask, "Is Mother there?"
She has been their strength all of their lives.  Since they were babies they have looked to her, she has always responded with affection, guidance, and teaching, blessing their lives
 in every way."

This morning we had to wake up extra early for piano lessons.  When Nicholas and Natalie were gathered in the kitchen for breakfast, I told them I had some sad news, and that President Hinckley had died.  They both were quiet and just thought about it for awhile.  I told them to try to always remember him.   He was the prophet when they were born, and that will always make him special to them.  The very first thing that entered my mind, after learning of his death is how our children frequently say this in family prayer:  "Please bless President Hinckley that he'll be healthy and will live long enough to be at another conference." 
 I will miss those sweet expressions and I will sure miss him.

"The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  This is a season to be strong.  It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission.  It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow.  It is a time to be found keeping the commandments.  It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain.  It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships.  In other words, to become more Christlike."

1 comment:

VEGAS VIC said...

I just read this again on March 31, 2011. What a great post for an even greater man. I can't believe no one else had anything to say.