Monday, January 28, 2008

Church Leader Dies

President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died Sunday night at the age of 97.

When I was home on leave, we went to Utah for a quick visit. In my wife's uncle's office in Salt Lake was a personally signed picture of Larry King with President Hinckley. Uncle Bruce, the Director for Public Relations for the Church, arranged those meetings. I asked him if any more Larry King interviews were afoot. He told me that President Hinckley had ailing health and that he would not.

Several years ago, I was asked to help out with the close protection security for President Hinckley. I was able to meet with him and his wife. Like everyone, they looked taller than on TV. The first and only words that came to my mind when I met them was 'beautiful.' They were a beautiful couple and beautiful people from the inside and it radiated out. Sister Marjorie Hinckley passed away in 2004.

Perhaps the most memorable of all the words I've read of Gordon B. Hinckley -- or have heard him speak -- are these. It sums up his life as a man of integrity who will be dearly missed. Said he,

It has been my privilege on various occasions to converse with presidents of the United States and important leaders in other governments. At the close of each visit, I have reflected on the rewarding experience of standing with confidence in the presence of an acknowledged leader. And then I have thought, what a wonderful thing, what a marvelous thing it would be to stand with confidence—unafraid and unashamed and unembarrassed—in the presence of God. This is the promise held out to every virtuous man and woman.

I know of no greater promise made by God to man than this promise made to those who let virtue garnish their thoughts unceasingly.
(source: here.)

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