Farewell President Hinckley

It was with a heavy heart this morning that we learned the news of President Hinckley’s death last night.

When President Hinckley became President of the Church on March 12, 1995, I didn’t know much about him. His face was, of course, already a fixture in Church leadership, as familiar as any other that I could remember at that time because of his central function in Church leadership during the presidencies of Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, and Howard W. Hunter. He became President of the Church only a few months before I entered the MTC for my mission to Berlin. I didn’t think too much about it, although by then his voice at General Conference was already as a balm in Gilead to me in the way that it conveyed the message of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the marvelous work and wonder of the Restored Gospel. But it was while seated at a General Conference in the Tiergarten stake center in West Berlin when President Hinckley gave his electrifying and forceful rebuke of spouse or child abusers in the Church that I realized my gratitude for him and how lucky I would be to receive his counsel as the Lord’s mouthpiece for however long the Lord would prolong his days in his office of the Presidency. I’ll never forget that meeting, nor many others in which he taught the truths of the Restored Gospel in magnification of his weighty calling.

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10 Responses to Farewell President Hinckley

  1. Hollie says:

    I really did enjoy listening to him speak, he will be missed

  2. john f. says:

    I enjoyed the New York Times’ coverage of this story:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/28/us/28hinckley.html?_r=2&hp=&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=1&adxnnlx=1201528826-Gp3frA6AH/DCvtZcbZVrJw

    From that article I learned something new about President Hinckley:

    As the church was growing overseas in the 1950s, Mr. Hinckley came up with the idea of producing a film to be shown in temples as a part of the instructions in the ritual. The film, which teaches about salvation and redemption, was easily translated into many languages and is still part of temple ritual.

    That was an interesting factoid.

  3. Justin says:

    There was some drama involved when he arrived in Switzerland with film reels and audio recordings and had to answer questions from customs agents and a federal film board officer about the contents of his luggage.

  4. Jordan F. says:

    John- you will remember of course how we got to sit next to each other, side by side as missionaries in Germany, literally at President Hinckley’s feet, as he addressed the missionaries during a conference in Berlin, also at Tiergarten.

    Thanks for the post!

  5. john f. says:

    That’s right — I won’t forget learning from President and Sister Hinckley (and Elder and Sister Uchtdorf) in person there in the Tiergarten stake center as missionaries. And then, of course, we made our way to the International Conference Center in Berlin for the Regional Conference to hear more counsel from President Hinckley directed at the stakes and districts comprising our missions.

  6. ama49 says:

    I was lucky enough to have met him and served with his grandson on my mission to Frankfurt, Germany. I have a post on my website about my experiences:

    http://www.graceforgrace.com

  7. Laura says:

    john f. – thanks for the link to the story in the New York Times. It was a wonderful story.

    I never had the opportunity to meet Pres. Hinckley, but I loved and admired him very much. He was a remarkable, inspirational man, and our Church is much better for having had him as our prophet.

  8. john f. says:

    ama49, I enjoyed your tribute — thanks for linking it.

    Laura, I share your feelings on that.

  9. Dan Richards says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories of President Hinckley. His passing prompted me to finally launch the blog I had been planning for months. My memories of him are here.

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