The prophet and president of the LDS church passed away last evening, of complications due to age.
I woke up this morning, turned on the news, and was greeted by this somber pronouncement. And I cried.
I cried because I knew this man. I didn’t have a personal relationship with him, but I had met him on a few occasions, and he was undeniably special. You could feel his presence from 20 feet away, because the hairs on your arm stood at attention and all the nerve endings in your body started to hum, as if your souls were recognizing a heavenly connection. I loved watching him speak. He was very direct and straightorward, but with a wit that skipped playfully between his words.
I knew him because he was my leader. For as long as I can remember, he has always been a part of the First Presidency, either as a counselor or the Prophet. He was ordained to lead the LDS church just a few weeks after my engagement. His signature is on my marriage license. His countless words of wisdom adorn the walls of my home, and several of his books are on my library shelves. His example was one I strove to follow.
President Hinckley was a man known worldwide. He was able to touch the hearts of world politicians, religious leaders and media giants. While the LDS church as an entity has been under countless attacks, that anger and hostility has never been directed at the man who led it. His passing will be felt by many throughout the world.
I am assured that he has been reunited with his dear wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley, who preceeded him in death nearly four years ago. Together they are waltzing through the heavens, strolling hand in hand and reveling in their celestial unity.
I’d like to share some of his best-loved and oft-quoted counsel. Perhaps you’ve heard it before. (It’s been “immortalized” as the 6 Be’s.) It is fitting for all people, of all walks of life:
“Stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”
Farewell, President Hinckley. Thank you for your dedicated service. I miss you, and I love you.