I always knew this day would eventually come and I dreaded the thought of it.
President Hinckley's passing on January 27, 2008 hit me like a quick blow to the stomach. While I am happy that the Prophet has returned to be with his beloved Marjorie, I am truly saddened that I will never again hear this great man speak over the pulpit while living. I loved his inspired wisdom, his Christ-like compassion, and his quick wit and humor.
I think every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has one prophet during their lifetime with whom they deeply relate and connect. I can say without hesitation that for me this Prophet is Gordon B Hinckley.
Here are but a few highlights of his church service as Prophet:
- Dedicated or rededicated 92 temples during his lifetime.
- September 23, 1995: Released "The Family: A Proclamation To The World," the most inspired document I believe has been written during my lifetime.
- April 2, 2000: Under President Hinckley's direction the LDS conference center is completed. If you've never been in this building it is one of the most impressive pieces of modern day architecture in the United States today.
- March 31, 2001: President Hinckley announces the "Perpetual Education Fund."
- Under President Hinckley's direction practically the whole BYU campus was given a face lift to include: The Wilkinson Center, Smith Family Living Center, Deseret Towers, McDonald Health Care Center, Harold B. Lee Library, Indoor Practice Facility, and the Hinckley Alumni & Vistors Center.
- March 2007: Under President Hinckley's direction The Mormon Tabarnacle is completely renovated, thus restoring one of our country's national treasures.
- Church membership has grown from 9 million to 13 million while President Hinckley served as Prophet.
Let me close this post with one of my favorite President Hinckley quotes:
“Believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, the Son of God, who came to earth and walked the dusty roads of Palestine to teach us the way of truth and light and salvation, and who, in one great and glorious act offered an atonement for each of us. He opened the way of salvation and exaltation for each of us, under which we may go forward in the Church and kingdom of God. Be not faithless, but believe in the great and wonderful and marvelous blessings of the Atonement.”
May God bless this man for his unwaivering faith and Christ-like example. For me personally it will take time before I can publicly speak his name without getting choked up. He will truly be missed.