June 23, 1910 - Jan 27, 2008
A Living Testimony of Christ
"Of all the things for which I feel grateful, one stands above all the others. That is a living testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One. . . .
"Jesus is my friend. He is my exemplar. He is my teacher. He is my healer. He is my leader. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my God and my King.
"Gratefully, and with love, I bear witness of these things."
(Gordon B. Hinckley, "Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice: Gratitude," Friend, Nov. 2002, 3)
I have never met President Hinckley, but this great leader influenced and enlarged my life in so many ways. His firm testimony and fun sense of humor have helped emlarge my own testimony. He stood steadfast amidst worldly scorn, always caring about people in the middle of disasters and turmoil, living what he knew to be true.
I wanted to pay a small tribute to him by listing some of the things Gordon Bitner Hinckley did while he was alive and the Prophet of the Lord.
* He shared his fabulous sense of humor and helped us smile through tears and remember that '...men (mankind) are that they might have joy.' (2 Nephi 2: 25 - Book of Mormon) There is no doubt...
* I remember he wanted to have 100 Temples on this earth before the year 2000. We did.
* He was inspired to have mini-Temples built.
* The Temple in Nauvoo was rebuilt under his guidance! I remember my daughter Patricia had just had her 12th birthday, and we were able to get her a Temple recommend, and go see that broadcast dedication in our Stake Center here. I made us special white, embroidered hankies for the occasion.
* He was an amazing media man, the most interviewed LDS Church President on national TV, helping with so many printed and visual media materials, including the Temple movies, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
* He helped write many of the missionary pamphlets and other guides for the Church.
* He voiced the concept of 'Raising the Bar' for our missionaries.
* "Now is the time to stand a little taller"
* He helped members strive to become better in all they do, to strive for perfection and excellence!
* Under his direction the Conference Center in Salt Lake City was built to accomodate the growing member population worldwide who would travel there to hear a Prophet of the Lord and other inspired leaders speak.
* The original Tabernacle in SLC was made 'earthquake-proof'.
* The 'Special Witnesses' for Christ Video was created.
* The Humanitarian program of the Church flourished under his direction.
* The Perpetual Education Fund was established so that the poor in 3rd world countries who want to be educated would have that opportunity.
* The 'For the Strength of Youth' pamphlet was written and then updated for our youth.
* Ricks College became 'BYU Idaho'
* Read the Book of Mormon again by December 31st challenge was issued a couple of years ago!
* Satelite broadcasts for Stake Conferences were established.
* He encouraged the new Family Search program which is now being slowly implemented in test areas of the Church, to help prevent duplication of ordinance work for our deceased.
* The Family - A Proclamation to the World was inspired by the Lord and given through President Hinckley in 1995. What an amazing document it truly is for people of all faiths.
There are so many other things that good man accomplished, that I could never find time to list. He will be missed by those of us on the earth, but I KNOW there is great rejoicing going on in Heaven at his return to family and friends, and most of all, to his Savior, Jesus Christ.
If you would like to read the General Conference Talks given by President Gordon B. Hinckley, all listed and linked on one page you can do that here:
Finally, a lovely tribute from Seth Adams
Our prayers go out to his dear family.
HUG THE ONES YOU LOVE!