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