Monday, January 28, 2008

a fond farewell

My mother-in-law called us last night with the news - they live in Utah so they heard about it before we did.

President Gordon B. Hinckley - the man that some 13 million of us sustained as the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - died last night at the age of 97. Matt tried to get onto the Deseret News website last night after his mother called and couldn't even get on the homepage. (I have this mental image of their servers, like, bursting into flame. Not surprisingly, the mainstream media carried the story as well so he got the story from, I think.)

Today I skipped my regular lesson (Old Testament: David Vs. Saul, Round 3) and talked with the seminary students about this event. For them, President Hinckley is the only prophet they've ever known since most of them were knee high to a grasshopper in 1995. (I was in high school myself, actually.) We discussed what President Hinckley will be most remembered for, and I think there are a lot of things. For me, the thing I will most remember is the thing with the temples. He announced a goal to have 100 operating temples by the end of 2000 (in 1997, there were about 50). All that year, it seemed like a new temple was being dedicated every couple of weeks. 2000 was also the year that I met, dated, and eventually married my husband. (Ask me sometime about the trip we took to the Louisville temple open house.) Now, one of the purposes of an LDS temple is to seal families together forever, including by the covenant of eternal marriage. So I guess that year I had temples and marriage on my mind a lot and it just seemed appropriate, somehow.

Aside from being pretty much the most adorable nonagenarian ever, President Hinckley led the church with grace, humility, and a witty sense of humor. While our church will have a new president again very shortly, and while we are all happy he gets to be reunited with his belived wife Marjorie (they were married for sixty-seven years! can you imagine?) he will definitely be missed.

2 witty remarks on "a fond farewell"

Catherine on 8:08 PM said...

I found out at 1 this morning, before I went to bed. I considered emailing you or dad but realized there was nothing, really, to say, other than President Hinckley's dead, and anyway you would have found that out sooner or later.

I did like him though. He was more hip to my youthful jive than most of the thirty-something young women leaders and relief society counsellors I've had.

Fatty McSlowslow said...

I went to bed feeling a little sad last night, because I had just gotten word from the stake presidency that some ward boundary changes have been approved, and consequently in a couple of weeks I'll be out of the ward I've belonged to since 1986.

Then I got up this morning and looked at the paper and downgraded my condition to a lot sad.

Which is entirely selfish. I know that for President Hinckley it was a happy occasion. But General Conference just won't be the same. I'm going to miss him.


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