Monday, February 4, 2008

A Giant Among Men

Yesterday morning, in my long wait for afternoon church, I hopped online and watched a rebroadcast of President Gordon B. Hinckley's funeral services, which were held on Saturday. I have to confess, the last week, the week following President Hinckley's passing, I really didn't give much thought to any sadness. It seemed almost a relief for him to be reunited with his sweet wife and other friends and family he had loved so much in life. It wasn't until I watched the funeral and other programs aired about his full, productive, and selfless life yesterday that I actually let myself shed a few tears. He was a great man with a great legacy, both to his own family and to the wider family of the church.

I was so inspired by what I saw and heard that I scratched my Primary lesson (I teach 8-12 year-olds Sunday School) and made a powerpoint presentation of all that President Hinckley had done in his nearly 13 years as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and prophet, seer, and revelator and holder of all priesthood keys in this dispensation. Beyond all his traveling, relations with the media, and humaritarian work, he also delivered the revelation The Family: A Proclamation to the World, instituted the Perpetual Education Fund, nearly tripled the number of operating temples, and so much more. My kids really loved it, especially because I typed up everything in Spanish and Portuguese so that everyone could participate, and I brought a map so we could see where in the world, significant to my diverse little group, temples had been built. It was pretty awesome to see temple growth, especially in 1999 and 2000. Overwhelming, actually.

Though I had been in the same room as President Hinckley on different occasions, I never knew him personally. However, I can bear witness to the validity of his calling and of the authority invested in him to act as the head of the Lord's true church on earth. He was duly prepared from a young age, and though an imperfect human as we all are, he provided an inspiring example of one who strove to "stand a little taller" as he advised us all to do. Reviewing his life, I realized what a body of counsel he gave to the members of the Church, especially to youth. That was me. He gave advice for my generation, and I feel renewed in my desire to pursue it.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Gordon B. Hinckley, 1910-2008

6 comments:

Ben said...

Nice post. :) And the Sunday School thing was a cool idea -- it really is amazing just how much President Hinckley got done in a mere 13 years. It still boggles my mind that he was able to double the number of temples in just three years.

Anyway, thanks.

Hilary said...

What blows my mind is the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, which is going in literally 4 or 5 miles down the road from the Jordan River Temple. Two temples in one city! Definitely a first, even SLC can't claim that.

Anonymous said...

Are you familiar with the Robert Millet and Greg Johnson dialogues? If so, what is your opinion?

Thank you,
Bud

Hilary said...

Bud,

Familiar to the extent that I know the two are friends and over the years have published articles, and a book as well, I believe. I confess that I haven't read anything they have published, but I know that they both work to promote the idea of "civility" in religious discussion between the LDS and evangelical communities, two groups that tend to be at odds with one another. I wholeheartedly applaud the concept.

Sorry I'm not very informed.

Hilary

Ben said...

Two in one city? Goodness. I hadn't heard about that, but wow, that's cool -- especially because it means they're using the temple enough there to warrant a second temple (since my guess is that they don't build temples unless they have solid, proven justification for it). If only Provo could attain that... ;)

Abbie said...

I can't believe what a glorious life of service he lead. I know that serving each other is the way to true joy. (the kind that you feel when you are closing your eyes on a clear day and you can feel the sunlight dancing on your eyelids...that kind of joy) I loved when pres. eyring said that we need to recommit ourselves to the Lord, im sure that is what Pres. Hinckley would have wanted.