Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away

President Hinckley passed away tonight at about 7:00 pm. Details are slow in coming out, but I can only assume it's from old age - he was 97 years old.

My initial reaction is that, well, it's hard to believe. He's been the president of the church most of my life and it just doesn't seem real at all. One thing I am happy about though, is that now he's with his wife who died a few years ago and who he missed terribly. I can't imagine how lonely I'd be without my wife and we've only been married about three years. To be married for decades and then to be left alone - it must have been horribly difficult. Fortunately, families are eternal and I know he is with her again.

If you're unfamiliar with President Hinckley and his teachings, here is an excerpt from one of his talks, My Testimony, from the April 2000 General Conference. It's my favorite talk of his:

But of all the things for which I feel grateful this morning, one stands out preeminently. That is a living testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." He, the Son of the Father, came to earth. He condescended to leave His royal courts on high--where He stood as Prince, the Firstborn of the Father--to take upon Himself mortality, to be born in a manger, the humblest of all places, in a vassal state ruled by the centurions of Rome.

How could He have condescended further?

I have become His Apostle, appointed to do His will and teach His word. I have become His witness to the world. I repeat that witness of faith to you and to all who hear my voice this Sabbath morning.

Jesus is my friend.

He is my exemplar.

He is my teacher.

He is my healer.

He is my leader.

He is my Savior and my Redeemer. Through giving His life in pain and unspeakable suffering, He has reached down to lift me and each of us and all the sons and daughters of God from the abyss of eternal darkness following death. He has provided something better--a sphere of light and understanding, growth and beauty where we may go forward on the road that leads to eternal life. My gratitude knows no bounds. My thanks to my Lord has no conclusion.

He is my God and my King. From everlasting to everlasting, He will reign and rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. To His dominion there will be no end. To His glory there will be no night.

None other can take His place. None other ever will. Unblemished and without fault of any kind, He is the Lamb of God, to whom I bow and through whom I approach my Father in Heaven.

You can read the rest of the talk here

It's my testimony that he was a prophet of God. He was a wonderful man who gave his life in service. And while I mourn his death, I know that the Lord will call a new prophet just as in Biblical times.

The work of God "will go forth boldly, nobly and independent till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."