Monday, January 28, 2008

Death of a Prophet.

About 8:00 Sunday night, I heard a rumor that President Gordon B. Hinckley had passed away. A few minutes later the rumor ceased to be a rumor and was verified as fact. I am not really the emotional sort (somewhat of a weakness, I've come to recognize). I don't see how getting all weepy really helps the situation. Crying doesn't bring people back. I just accept things and move on. This is not to say that I never feel emotions. I do. But I feel and demonstrate them differently than most people. My logical side keeps them under control. (There could be a whole psychoanalysis for this. I read the book Emotional Intelligence last year, and I learned that my lack of emotional expressiveness was a good indication that I was quite emotionally stupid.) I hope that in a more personal situation things would be different, but as for last night, while most people were teary-eyed and sniffing, I just sat there in a stupor. I felt a loss, but I didn't know what to do with it. Maybe part of me didn't want to accept that it was true. Part of me was contemplating the effect it would have on the church and the world. It is very interesting to me how different people react to a situation.

In place of emotional gushing and to prevent any concern that my lack of emotion is any indication of disregard, I would like to give a tribute to President Hinckley.

He has build many bridges and diminished many chasms among different religions. He said, "I say this to other people: you develop all the good you can. We have no animosity toward any other church. We do not oppose other churches. We never speak negatively of other churches. We say to people: you bring all the good that you have, and let us see if we can add to it."

President Hinckely will always be known as a temple builder. He participated many temple dedications before his calling as prophet, but just during the 13 years as prophet, the number of temples increased from 52 to 124, with 14 others announced or under construction. His vision for vicarious work and his concept of smaller and standardized temple construction has provided for many the blessings of a temple near by.

We will all remember he valiant efforts to spread word of the Church and shed good light upon it with his appearances on national television. He not only clarified misconceptions, but also supported the truths so that others who may otherwise never have had an opportunity to know of the Church, could have a better and more accurate idea of the Mormon religion. His personality was a perfect fit for such a venture as he showed enthusiastic dedication and sincerity to his calling.

What many might not know, is that along with television appearances, Pres. Hinckley was also extremely influential in the development of the Church broadcast infrastructure. He was involved with Bonneville communications and the development and spread of satellites, which allowed the broadcast of General Conference and other programs throughout the world on radio and television.

Most importantly, Pres. Hinckley will be know for he warm and welcoming personality. Sprinkled with wit and humor, he made his way into the hearts and homes of people in every country. Even those not of the Church hold him in high regard and have only wonderful things to say about him.

What a man to have lead the Church and the world in such a time when all things seem to be negative, chaotic, and dark. He certainly magnified his calling with perfect understanding of what was needed and expected.

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