Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley dies at age 97

From - LDS Newsline

President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through explosive growth during his more than 12 years as president, died at 7 p.m. today of causes incident to age, surrounded by family. He was 97.

Church newsroom articles on President Hinckley

A good collection of media articles and comments at Guy Murray's Messenger and Advocate blog.

Numerous other articles and comments throughout the Bloggernacle.

A beautiful quote from President Hinckley, cited in a Salt Lake Tribune article --
"I am an old man given to meditation and prayer. I would enjoy sitting in a rocker, swallowing prescriptions, listening to soft music, and contemplating the things of the universe. But such activity offers no challenge and makes no contribution.

"I wish to be up and doing. I wish to face each day with resolution and purpose. I wish to use every waking hour to give encouragement to bless those whose burdens are heavy, to build faith and strength of testimony. If in the process I should die on some distant strand while speaking to my friends in the church, it would be better than if I were to spend my days, looking out languidly upon the world without purpose or design." April 5, 1997

In President Monson's closing address of Hinckley's funeral, he related an incident where President Hinckley's doctor tried to get Monson to persuade Hinckley to actually use his cane for walking. Monson reports his reply -- "I am his counselor. You are his doctor. You tell him!".

Another anecdote from a Salt Lake Tribune reader --

At the centennial scout jamboral in Filmore, Gordon B. Hinckley was presented with a walking stick from the scouts. His quip was, "Thanks! I might need this when I get old!"

Overall impression from the funeral speakers was of the deeply felt the loss of a great man, and a great friend.

Though he was born in a different era, he truly was a man for our times.

His countenance seemed to soften with age, a fine patina formed through years of time. Weathered by long experience, afflicted with disease, he nonetheless maintained a remarkable resilience. He was well characterized by Elder Eyring, in his farewell address to President Hinckley, with the optimistic phrase that summarized his world-view: "Things will turn out all right. They always do."

As with all of us, President Hinckley's greatest legacy was established in his simple resolve to carry forth the Lord's work. He delivered no sweeping new revelations, unravelled no gordian-knot mysteries of doctrine, invented no brilliant innovations. Rather, he faced forward with firm resolve to build upon and follow through with established plans, strengthening the programs of the Church, and welcoming the throngs of new converts that continue to come in an overwhelming tide.

His steadfast example will be missed, as will his indomitable good humor.

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