Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tribute to a Wonderful Man

Today, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, peacefully returned to the presence of our Father in Heaven. I am sure he was warmly greeted by his wife Marjorie and countless others whose lives he touched while on this earth.

I have never been at such a loss for words as when I try to describe what this man has meant to me over the past 12 years since he was named Prophet. He was a man of such incredible faith, integrity, compassion, energy, and strength. He shared his faith freely, his love unconditionally, and his every energy serving others. He was powerful yet humble, firm yet loving, strong yet gentle. And, though serving as prophet to the some 13 million LDS people, he was also revered and respected by many others not of our faith.

His words of wisdom and love offered me untold strength, encouragement and hope during my somewhat tumultuous adolescent years. I loved the way he made me want to be better, just by being himself. The first time I was in his actual presence was as a Sophomore at BYU-Hawaii, when he came to a conference in Oct 1999. Though I was more than a stone's-throw from him, the feeling I felt when he entered the room was undeniable, and one I will not forget. It amazed me that one man could fill an entire auditorium with his spirit, without even saying a word.

Not much more can be said by someone so weak in writing as I, but this I do know; that Gordon B. Hinckley was/is a man of immeasurable strength, virtue and integrity. A man whose single life was one of the greatest forces for good this world has ever known. A man who has touched more hearts and lives than sands upon the shore. A man who was and will remain a Prophet of God. Thank you, President Hinckley, for your years of service, your love, your optimism, your strength. You will be deeply missed.

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