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.
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!