In a world where people look up to all the wrong kinds of people, it is refreshing to remember the life of Gordon B. Hinckley and recognize that he was a true hero in every sense of the word. What an example of everything that I would want to be. He was incredibly smart, very humorous, so patient, humble, loving, and understanding--in short, so very Christ-like. All day I've been trying to wrap my mind around the magnitude of this. It's huge. When I first found out I didn't want to believe it, and I started thinking "How dare he. He can't leave yet. He needs to make it to 100. I'm not ready for this yet". And that's the crazy thing. His life itself was so remarkable that we don't even think twice that he was 97. Something about him just led us to believe that he would keep on going, because that's the way he lived his life--always carrying on with energy and determination. Probably one of his most important talks was his very first as president of the Church:
"Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike" ("This Is the Work of the Master," Ensign, May 1995, 71).
This is how we will carry on as the work moves forward. "Go forward with faith"-the theme of his biography. Of all the things President Hinckley taught, it is faith that best sums up his ministry. "The Miracle of Faith" is one of the talks that best sums up what he felt was so important and best demonstrates his amazing way of teaching and building faith. Faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. Faith in the restoration. "Faith is the basis of testimony. Faith underlies loyalty to the Church. Faith represents sacrifice, gladly given in moving forward the work of the Lord...O Father, help us to be faithful unto Thee and unto our glorious Redeemer, to serve Thee in truth, to make that service an expression of our love, is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
Amen, President Hinckley. You were (and always will be) one of my greatest hero's. God be with you 'till we meet again.
"The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it."