Praise to the Man Who Communed with Jehovah

January 27, 2008 | 51 comments
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President Gordon B. Hinckley died earlier this evening at age 97.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:7-8)

51 Responses to Praise to the Man Who Communed with Jehovah

  1. Adam Greenwood on January 27, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    We sustained him today in stake conference. Our Stake President also renewed President Hinckley’s call to read the Book of Mormon before General Conference. We need the testimony.

    So this afternoon I noodled around in the Book of Mormon and read Moroni’s farewell:

    And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.

  2. Ray on January 27, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Wonderful picture; perfect scripture.

    Pres. Hinckley is the only Prophet my children have known. Along with Pres. Kimball, he was the most gentle, humble man of authority I have ever known. My daughters cried when I told them the news.

    I will never forget the sparkle in his eyes and the humor in his voice. Truly he was a prophet of God.

  3. Lupita on January 28, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Praise to the man indeed. I’m still in shock but tremendously saddened at the loss of our wonderful prophet. Thank you for posting this tribute.

  4. Kathryn Lynard Soper on January 28, 2008 at 12:08 am

    One of a kind.

  5. Larry on January 28, 2008 at 12:10 am

    My deepest sympathies on the loss of your President and Prophet, from a non-Mormon who greatly admired him.

  6. Emily M. on January 28, 2008 at 12:18 am

    I am thankful to God for his prophet. Just so grateful for his life of service, for his vision, for his love.

  7. Jim Cobabe on January 28, 2008 at 12:28 am

    How grateful I am for the leadership of this man, with his indomitable good will. He set an inspiring example to challenge us all.

    I am dedicating my reading of the Book of Mormon this year to the memory of President Hinckley.

  8. It's Not Me on January 28, 2008 at 12:30 am

    At about the time he passed away his wife’s brother and two sisters were just beginning a fireside presentation at our stake center in South Ogden, Utah. I was not there, but I wonder if a phone call was received and how it was handled.

  9. tyler on January 28, 2008 at 12:32 am

    I once heard him speak, just after he was ordained to be the Prophet, in the ward where he spent most of his adult life. Afterwards, by some grace, I was standing at just the right place in the hall and, as he left, flanked by his security guards, I had the chance to shake his hand and speak with him, just a few words.

    I’ll never forget the thrill that pulsed through me–body and soul–at meeting the Prophet of God.

    I will dearly miss his humor, vision, and testimony.

  10. Jon on January 28, 2008 at 12:35 am

    His work does not end but continues on at the side of Brother Joseph, Brother Brigham and others who have worn the mantle in this dispensation. The world will never be the same and will always be better because Gordon B. Hinckley walked on it. Till we meet again….

  11. Matt Evans on January 28, 2008 at 12:37 am

    His sincerity and obvious affection for the members won me over when I was a young teenager learning my place in the world. When he started each conference talk saying, “My beloved brothers and sisters,” I knew he meant me.

  12. MSG on January 28, 2008 at 12:47 am

    A life well lived….well done faithful Gordon B. Hinckley…enter into His Kingdom as you well deserve…just know we will miss you.

  13. Adam Greenwood on January 28, 2008 at 12:57 am

    I am dedicating my reading of the Book of Mormon this year to the memory of President Hinckley.

    Good thinking. Deeds make good memorials.

  14. Amy on January 28, 2008 at 1:07 am

    I have to tell you; we had stake conference today. The whole southeast US had a broadcast from Salt Lake as our stake conference. Pres. Monson was our last speaker, and I had the most interesting experience. He seemed….like a great weight was on his shoulders as he was speaking. Did anyone else watch this today and have this feeling? He seemed…I am searching for words…humble, reverent, loving…but very….solemn in a way, as if he was preoccupied. He was loving, but not upbeat and lighthearted as he can often be. He seemed to be digesting something. He told mostly stories of his life; important spiritual milestones for him. I just felt something in my heart…that I didn’t recognize until now. That something was changing. It makes more sense now, I suppose. I don’t mean to give the impression that I am in anyway in tune with something like that, I just felt like… something was off.

    Can you imagine what it is like in heaven right now??? Can you even imagine!!! What a welcome he must be having!! What a release of any pain and effects of mortality and old age! And being with his wife!

  15. Joel on January 28, 2008 at 1:10 am

    I loved the man. I loved his optimism. I loved his humor. He truly was a man who did his best to walk as the Lord walked.

  16. Bro. Jones on January 28, 2008 at 1:11 am

    “And being with his wife!”

    Indeed–he looked so upset when she died. I’m glad they’re together again.

  17. WillF on January 28, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I didn’t know I would feel such a sense of loss when this came. I regret that I wasn’t better at following his councils when he was still here. I like that idea that deeds make good memorials; maybe I can rededicate myself to doing what he asked in his memory.

  18. TheSnakeGuy on January 28, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a stake conference with a lot of less active members. He said if everyone in attendance that day would attend church every week it would be necessary to split the stake. “Oh how wonderful that would be.” His nature was to always focus on the positive. He didn’t tell them what they were doing wrong, but what they could do right and he knew it would be a blessing in their lives and also showed them that they are a blessing to the church and are needed and wanted.

    President Hinckley had a gift for understanding and caring about the people of the church and did a lot to promote a sense of community in the church. One of the changes he made that won’t make most people’s list of things he is most remembered for is how conference talks are assigned. In the past they ensured that the topics didn’t overlap too much. The subtle change of allowing speakers greater say on their topics has allows speakers to speak more from the heart and allowed them to speak on topics that the speaker really cares about because they have had spiritual experiences recently in their personal lives that give them greater insight. His dedication to the church for so many years gave him an understanding of the intricacies of the church’s internal procedures and it showed in the decisions he helped make. The sum of all those small but inspired decisions about the day to day workings of the church combine to have a large affect.

  19. tracy m on January 28, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Wonderful choice of scripture, Nate. Thanks.

  20. Lizabeth Leslie on January 28, 2008 at 1:52 am

    We are 100% united as Mormons tonight. No difference in interpretation tonight. I was so sad when I heard, through tears I just wanted to find some comfort (every one is a sleep in my house). I rarely comment but always read here and am thankful to be able to share memories of our most loved and adored Prophet Gordon Hinckley.
    Thank you for the smile Amy, “Can you imagine what it is like in heaven right now??? Can you even imagine!!! What a welcome he must be having!! What a release of any pain and effects of mortality and old age! And being with his wife!” It made me a little less sad thinking of his joy. Our tremendous loss is Heaven’s gain.

  21. manaen on January 28, 2008 at 1:53 am

    I will miss him.
    .
    When he became Prophet-President I thought of him as an able administrator. How much more he proved to be!
    .
    He spoke much on marital relations in his comments since his wife passed away — as if her loss focused him on the one important work we have in this life. He spake in the SLC broadcast to SoCal stake conferences two weeks ago. After the others’ useful and timely comments, his closing remarks were about marital responsibilities, mostly about husbands cherishing, honoring their wives. I took careful notes to share with my fiancee, who was listening in her stake. We were at a baptismal service in her ward tonight when we heard of Pres. Hinckley’s passing, Upon hearing this, I realized that his final words that I heard were about how I’m to take care of my wife-to-be. I will make following his counsel in our marriage my memorial of him.
    .
    I thank Thee, God, for this Prophet.

  22. Susan Jones on January 28, 2008 at 1:58 am

    I had a joyous thought of the reunion between Pres. Hinckley and his best friend, Jesus Christ. I thought, ‘how great it would be for Pres. Hinckley”, and then the thought expanded into, “How great for Jesus to be with his prophet again.” I am sure they both enjoyed the reunion. It makes me kind of envious for the time I get to go home and for my own reunion with Him. God bless Pres. Monson.

  23. Seth R. on January 28, 2008 at 1:58 am
  24. Sean on January 28, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Susan and manaen’s comments reminded me of something from (I believe) President Hinckley’s biography. Sister Hinckley basically said that she was grateful to be #2 in President Hinckley’s life…behind the Lord. A fine example.

    President Monson will need our prayers.

  25. Blue on January 28, 2008 at 2:30 am

    Pres. Hinckley spoke at the Southern California regional stake conference broadcast 2 weeks ago. It may have been his last public address. He chose to speak about marriages and family — a fitting topic for him giving his impending reunion with his beloved. He will be missed.

  26. Janet on January 28, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Lovely, Nate. Thank you.

    I may pilfer the portrait for our memorial, if that’s OK

  27. Harold Curtis on January 28, 2008 at 2:59 am

    I feel a great loss tonight.

    The words come hard, and mostly not at all.

    A seer, through whose eyes we have long gazed at the world about us, has been called home.

    His eyes are closed for now, but because of him our eyes have been opened and beheld much that will give us hope at tomorrows dawn.

    Farewell dear friend,
    your journey here is at an end,
    but you have shown the better path to walk upon,
    and beckoned to us………..
    this way friends,
    the Master is just ahead
    come quickly with your oiled lamps
    for there are better days yet to come

    Harold B. Curtis…..

  28. C Jones on January 28, 2008 at 3:08 am

    “and beckoned to us………..
    this way friends,
    . . .for there are better days yet to come”

    Yes– this is so like him. Now I’m crying again.

  29. Jacob M on January 28, 2008 at 3:15 am

    I’m grateful for the time the Lord shared him with us. I’m grateful that he is back with his beloved wife. I’m deeply saddened that I won’t hear his voice until the next life. His reward is and will be truly great.

  30. 0t on January 28, 2008 at 3:18 am

    what great strength to have carried on so thoroughly until the end. we are all a little older tonight…one of our eldest brothers has gone home. I pray I may carry my portion of the mantle with at least a small part of the dignity with which he carried his.

  31. Bryce Haymond on January 28, 2008 at 3:25 am

    We thank thee, O God, for a prophet!

  32. ukann on January 28, 2008 at 5:40 am

    In tears again. How I will miss his firm but loving leadership. One of the highlights of my life was sitting feet away from him the the Celestial Room of the Preston Temple for one of the dedicatory sessions. As he sat he was a kind and gentle very elderly man – as he stood to speak I could literally almost see the mantle of the prophet fall upon him as he spoke with quiet authority – it was truly one of the most spiritual experiences of my life.

  33. john f. on January 28, 2008 at 6:19 am

    My wife and I didn’t hear about this until we got up this morning and I saw an email on my blackberry about it. It was a sad way to start the new week. One of our daughters cried when we told them the news during the morning rush to get out the door to school. But all was well once more on the playground with her friends.

    I looked forward to every General Conference to hear President Hinckley counsel the Church on the course it should take. I am grateful to have benefited so much from his leadership and his counsel.

    We will miss you President Hinckley.

  34. Naismith on January 28, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I saw the conference with Pres. Monson, and I agree that he was very different. One of my friends commented on this afterward, that she had never seen him like that.

    I didn’t think there was so much of a weight on him. I thought he was a total hoot, much more casual and unrestrained than in GC talks. Very charming. And yes, we learned a ton about him through the many, many stories about his life–none of which I had heard before.

  35. Gabriel S. on January 28, 2008 at 8:09 am

    He was a kind of Polar Star for me.He became President of the Church two months before my release as missionary. I feel his ministry to me was personal, intimate.
    It is also wonderful to see the beautiful family he and Sis Hinckley raised.
    We are so sad and lonely now.
    Thank you, Pres Hinckley, for what you\’ve done for Zion, for my Argentina, for my family and for me.

  36. Richard O. on January 28, 2008 at 8:23 am

    I will remember President Hinckley for his warmth and openness to other people and ideas. He often said, “Bring all the truth you have and we will see if we can add to it.” This was a man who embraced the best and most noble ideas the world had to offer and saw them as part of the Gospel and then he added his own unique prophetic insights. I will miss this great soul.

  37. lamonte on January 28, 2008 at 8:39 am

    As I review the remarks of world leaders expressing their condolences, especially those from outside the LDS church, I am impressed that so many saw in him the traits of a kind and gentle man and a giant of a leader, the same traits that made all of us love him so much. Those same traits would describe the Savior, whose life President Hinckley emulated every day.

  38. Tibson on January 28, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I was just thinking this morning here in England how the death of the prophet of the whole earth doesn\’t even make the news headlines!! The \’world\’ do not know what significance the last 24 hours has brought.

    We look forward to our new prophet but will always hold Pres Hinkley in our hearts forevermore. Conference will never be quite the same without his talks.

  39. gina on January 28, 2008 at 9:51 am

    In this time of sadness there is also happiness….he is with his sweetheart! That is a perfect quote to go with such a wonderful man! OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH HIS FAMILY!

  40. R Rogers on January 28, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I have to tell you; we had stake conference today. The whole southeast US had a broadcast from Salt Lake as our stake conference. Pres. Monson was our last speaker, and I had the most interesting experience. He seemed….like a great weight was on his shoulders as he was speaking. Did anyone else watch this today and have this feeling? He seemed…I am searching for words…humble, reverent, loving…but very….solemn in a way, as if he was preoccupied. He was loving, but not upbeat and lighthearted as he can often be. He seemed to be digesting something. He told mostly stories of his life; important spiritual milestones for him. I just felt something in my heart…that I didn’t recognize until now. That something was changing. It makes more sense now, I suppose. I don’t mean to give the impression that I am in anyway in tune with something like that, I just felt like… something was off.

    Amy,
    I felt exactly the same, my wife I commented on this during the session that he seemed a little distracted, tired, or burdened. We wondered if he was ill. But seems he only had a tremendous weight on his shoulders, possiblying knowing of the great responsibility that he was about to bear.

  41. Geoff B on January 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Amy, I saw the same stake conference you did in the southeast, and I agree with your portrayal of Pres. Monson. Several people said to me, “what was going on with Pres. Monson?” And then a few hours later this evening, we found out.

  42. Anna on January 28, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Two memories:
    When I was in the Mission Home (1972) he was chairman of the Missionary Committee and came to speak to us. He looked at us and was silent for a few moments, then said, “You’re not much to look at, but you\’re all the Lord has.” It was a gentle reminder not to take ourselves too seriously, but to take the work very seriously.

    I was a tired mother of 5 children under the age of 10 and my husband and I both had significant church responsibilities. Pres. Hinckley was then 3rd counselor to an ill Pres. Kimball, whose counselors were also aged and very ill. He was essentially working alone in the presidency. He spoke of taking a few moments the evening before to listen to a Mozart violin concerto, and how it had renewed him. I have survived many difficult seasons in my life since then by letting beautiful music renew me. Pres. Hinckley then said “Sometimes I feel like my desk is the garbage can of the church.” I have thought often how much we take for granted the ability to pass difficult problems one level higher, but that ultimately it stops. How important it is, then, to each do our parts wells, seeking inspiration, so as not to add to the burdens of our leaders, and how we must sustain then with our prayers.

  43. Dave Kitchen on January 28, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    At this time, the words of Brigham Young seem most poignant to me: I feel to shout for joy to think that I knew the Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley.

  44. The Only True and Living Nathan on January 28, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    My nine-year-old son, who wears a white shirt to church only under duress and never touches a tie, decided to wear both to school today as his own memorial.

  45. hlue on January 28, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Tears came first, then joy as I thought of Pres. Hinckley’s reunion with his sweetheart, and with his good friend Pres. Faust — then I could see them getting to work! :-)

  46. Ryan Reeder on January 28, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    I graduated from high school three days after President Benson died, and was ordained an elder the same day President Hunter was set apart as the President of the Church. He signed my mission call. I was in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) when one of the MTC presidency came over the PA system saying that President Hunter had passed away. The following Sunday was a fast Sunday, and I remember thinking that it would be good, as I was preparing to teach others that President Hinckley was a prophet, to fast to gain my own witness of that fact.

    President Hinckley was set apart that day, and the day after was that press conference (which was not shown to the missionaries). The next day, though (March 14), Elder Scott came to speak to us at our weekly devotional. And as part of his message, he related how two days before, the Twelve had laid their hands on President Hinckley\’s head and set him apart as the President of the Church. At that moment a strong, powerful witness came to me. I know that President Hinckley was called of God to be His prophet and to preside over His Church.

  47. Susan Jones on January 29, 2008 at 2:23 am

    I happened onto some anti-mormon blogs tonight and felt sorrow for those who have lost their testimonies. They write with anger and bitterness producing such darkness. But tonight reviewing your comments, the love and respect you have espressed for Pres. Hinckley fills my heart with light and a joy for the companionship of the faithful and enduring Saints. God bless you all and thanks for sharing your strength in this journey where in we endure to the end. If Pres. Hinckley can do it, then so can we!

  48. Alan on January 29, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    I hope this comes out as respectful as I intend, but what a way to go. We are all going to die some day, and President Hinckley got to live 97 full years while keeping an active mind and a strong body. I compared President Hinckley’s last years with President Kimball’s as presented in Ed Kimball’s latest biography of the Kimball Presidency. It was heart-breaking to read about President Kimball’s frustrations of dealing with a broken body when he wanted to do so much for the Church. I watched my grandfather deteriorate with Alzheimers. I think of President Benson’s last years. Most old people spend their last years sick and unhappy. What a blessing that President Hinckley got to spend so much of his long life with his sweetheart by his side. While his death seemed sudden and I’ll miss him, I’m glad that he didn’t need to suffer through years of poor health. I hope I’m as lucky.

  49. cher mortensen on January 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I want to add~He surely was a great man, but let\’s praise that fact that the lord will send us a new prophet and as President Hinckly did, he will lead us to success. I am anxious to know and I am excited~I do know that we are a blessed religion. We are very lucky to have such blessings.!

  50. Ray on February 2, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    A woman in my ward wrote the most concise yet powerful tribute I have read on her blog. It is:

    “All he wanted to do was serve. The Lord knew it. There is a lesson there.”

  51. Niko Haikola on February 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I first heard of president Hinckleys death from my father in a text message. I felt really angry and didn\’t want to believe him first. It felt so wrong. Now I just feel sad. I always respected Hinckley more than anyone else.
    Funny how I ended up on this site by accident. I was looking for a mp3 of the song \”Praise to the man\”. Then I just decided to leave my thoughts about President Hinckley. He was the greatest man I know.

    -N. Haikola, Kemi Finland

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