A Fond Farewell to a Great Prophet

It’s with great sadness that we mark the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley, and yet it seems a happy occasion as well, as he has now been released from his long labor here to join his wife and other departed family members.  The Church has benefitted greatly from the hard work and wonderful personality of this great man and he will be sorely missed, but we know he goes on to other great things and much deserved rest in the eternities.  He has been our prophet for a long time, and even before he was actually called as president he was our de facto leader because of the periods of poor health of the presidents who preceded him, and with whom he selflessly served for so many years. 

 I remember hearing stories about him from visiting General Authorities when I was a missionary.  Elder Ballard told us that he had called Church headquarters to speak with someone in the First Presidency about what he deemed to be an urgent matter and that Elder Hinckley, who was then serving as counselor to President Kimball, had answered the phone.  He was the only member of the Presidency who was able-bodied and was doing the work of three.  He asked Elder Ballard what was wanted, listened carefully, then said “Is that all?”  Elder Ballard said “Yes.”  Elder Hinckley just said “Thank you,” and hung up.  Elder Ballard realized after this brief conversation that Elder Hinckley had no time for pleasantries and barely time to do the things that were required of him and resolved not to bother him again unless absolutely necessary. 

Later, of course, Elder Hinckley served as counselor in two more presidencies before becoming President himself.  his hard work and dedication are legendary, but the things he will be most remembered for, in my mind, are his sense of humor, his unprecedented openness with the media, his wit and charm, and his genuine warmth.  Even to those who never met him, he seemed a well-known figure; a loving grandfather, a gentleman with a knowing twinkle in his eye, an old friend.  We love him and we will miss him dearly.  Good-bye and God bless you, President Hinckley.

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3 Responses

  1. President Gordon B. HInckley did more for the Church than any other prophet save Joseph Smith. I love him and will always be forever grateful to have lived during his presidency. Here is an excerpt of a talk given by Boyd K. Packer that I love, and gives me chills:

    “You were in the War in Heaven. One day when you are in the spirit world, you will be enthralled with those you are associated with. You will ask someone in which time period he lived and you might hear, “I was with Moses when he parted the Red Sea,” or “I helped build the pyramids,” or
    “I fought with Captain Moroni.” And as you are standing there in amazement, someone will turn to you and ask, “Which prophet time did you live in?”

    And when you say “Gordon B. Hinckley”, a hush will fall over every hall, every corridor in heaven, and all in attendance will bow at your presence.

    – Boyd K. Packer

  2. ms:

    I hesitate to rank the prophets, but I think that is a valuable perspective. President Hinckley is an incredible man who accomplished so much. We often devalue our contemporary heroes in favor of ancient ones, on little or no evidence. It’s probably correct that our modern prophets are greater than we imagine.

  3. Nice Tribute.

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