Gordon B. Hinckley, the Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of which I am a member, passed away last Sunday evening. Though he was 97 years old, his passing was a surprise for me and my family, as he had been very active during his 13 years as leader of the Church, including all the way up to the days just before his death. He travelled all over the world, and kept a schedule I'm sure I would be unable to match.
He was set apart as Church prophet in 1995, and since that time has overseen much growth and change amongst the Mormons. The Church has grown from 9 million to 13 million members. On September 23, 1995 in a General Relief Society Meeting he read The Family: A Proclamation to the World, an inspired and prophetic pronouncement if ever there was one. LDS temples grew in number from 47 to 124. He announced and instituted the Perpetual Education Fund. And in 2000 he, along with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles released The Living Christ, a testimony and statement on the divinity of the Savior.
President Hinckley was the prophet for most of my adult life so far. He left me with many memories and examples of faith, endurance, eternal optimism, and love. I have enjoyed being able to remember his life and ministry this past week as he has been written about and stories have been shared. He truly is a man I admire and wish to emulate.
There are many great places to learn more about him, the things he was able to accomplish, and the people he made a difference to. The official Church Newsroom has photos and videos. The Deseret News has a great page up with copious articles and commentary. The Salt Lake Tribune also has a great multimedia tribute to President Hinckley. Brigham Young University has an awesome slideshow as well. Also, the Utah blogosphere has a number of posts remembering him, with many personal stories to share. Click on the Bloghive banner in my links area to the right, or click here. An Idaho blogger I recommend, Joel Kennedy, has a nice tribute as well.
So long, President Hinckley. May God be with you till we meet again.