Monday, January 28, 2008

Farewell

Our prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died last night at the age of 97. My first reaction when Dan told me the news this morning was a great sense of loss. But almost immediately after that thought came the image of what was certainly a glorious reunion in heaven for President Hinckley and his wife Marjorie. How could I be sad when such a joyous thing was happening above?

For those of the Mormon faith, having a prophet is something that is second nature, something we consider very normal. But for every other Christian faith, prophets are a thing of the Bible, figures from a time far past.

Consider for a moment, if you will, what it means to have a prophet leading you in your faith. He is not just the leader of your church, a good man just trying his best to give you guidance based on his interpretation of the scriptures. He is a man who literally talks to God.

Wow.

Akin to Moses, Noah, Isaiah, and so many others, President Hinckley was the mouthpiece of God on Earth. In all of my life, I have never doubted the way that I should go, the choices God has wanted me to make, or how to accomplish good things because I have always had a prophet telling me exactly what God wants for all of His children. Not that it has always been easy, but I knew what God wanted for me. And not just general, generic counsel that can be gleaned from the Bible. Things specific to our time, counsel regarding dress and modesty, how to protect ourselves from the evils of pornography, how to treat our spouses and find true happiness in our marriages. President Hinckley was the prophet when I met and married Dan in the temple. His tenure saw us survive a separation, bring our first child into the world, learn to love each other unconditionally, and face the challenges of being good parents. One of President Hinckley's counsels that we are finally trying to apply in our life is to live frugally, pay off our debts, and free ourselves from financial bondage.

When I think of President Hinckley, these are the things I will always remember about him:

He was a happy man. He had a positive outlook on life and was always full of encouragement for us to be steadfast and be of good cheer.

He faced aging with grace. Much like my Gram has.

His presidency saw HUGE growth in temple work. When he became the prophet in 1995, there were 47 temples throughout the world. Today there are 127 with several more under construction.

One of the temples he dedicated was the St. Paul Minnesota Temple. It is one of the "mini temples" that he initiated construction of. The mini temples have allowed temples to be built where there are smaller populations of members of the LDS church.

I was able to visit the St. Paul temple in 2004 when Lori and I had our first reunion.

President Hinckley was a world traveler and beloved by Saints across the world.

Love this picture!

President Hinckley took on the media and introduced the world to our faith.

He was bold and confident when addressing the press.

He was respected and revered not just by members of the church, but by many public figures. (That's Mike Wallace in the background at Pres. Hinckley's 95th Birthday celebration.)

He was such an integral part of our community. (Here he is lighting the 2002 Winter Olympics torch with Apostle Neal A. Maxwell.)

He adored his wife

As I read somewhere today, it's a sad day for us, but a glorious day in heaven!

6 comments:

Spymommy said...

Thanks Sue for this beautiful Tribute to Pres. Hinckley! It really touched my heart.

KT2 said...

Nice job Sue! You said everything just right! I loved him so much, and he will be missed, but it is a happy day for him and those that are waiting for him!

Kris said...

What wonderful pictures! thank you.

Becky in Wyo said...

Ditto on the wonderful blog post about Pres. Hinckley. I didn't know until I saw Jenn's post yesterday, that he had died. I think it will take time to sink in, but reading your post has really brought home why we all love him so much. He was my favorite, I think it's because of his wry sense of humor, and wonderfully positive outlook on life. To me, he was like the best Grandpa in the world, no offense to my own grandpas, who were wonderful in their own right. So, thanks again for such a wonderful remembrance, and putting into words what I couldn't.

Anonymous said...

I was saddened about President Hinckley's loss and immediately thought of you and some of the conversations we have had about him. He was a great man with a lot of spirit and faithfulness. He also is the cutest old man I ever saw!

After I heard he died I thought of you and what you might be going through but then remembered what you so strongly believe and know. . . that he is reunited gloriously with the Lord. Like you said, "what a glorious day in heaven but a sad day down here."

Lori

The Queen Vee said...

What an absolutely special tribute to a great and dear man. Thanks Sue for not only your remarks but also for posting them with all those wonderful pics!