Monday, February 04, 2008

A Great Man

This has been a bittersweet week in our household with the passing of our beloved prophet and President of our Church, Gordon B. Hinkley. He has been a part of our lives for so long and it is hard to see him go. We know he has lived a good life and is now reunited with loved ones but we know that we will miss him a lot too. I loved President Hinkley for many reasons. I loved that he was so positive, even when giving counsel. You never felt like you were being chastised, just encouraged. I always came away from one of his talks feeling like he had just told me, you're doing really well, now just do a little better! I loved his humor and energy. I loved that he spoke to the whole world, and felt it was important to give help and assistance, and inspiration to people of all faiths, not just his. It was amazing, although not surprising that he would talk on topics and declare truths earlier, then we would see how relevent they were after his words. He was a true prophet. This last week in thinking about his life and all that he has done, traveling, speaking, writing, always working and dedicating all of his time, energy to the Lord and His church, I feel inspired by him. If he can do all of that, surely I can do better at my comparitively tiny part! I can work harder in my calling and help my family to be more diligent in living the gospel.
We attended the broadcast of the funeral in our chapel on Saturday. I'm so glad that we went and could feel that we were saying a proper goodbye and thank you to this great man. The spirit was very strong in the room. I'm glad my children were there to feel it. I told them that they needed to pay attention and listen carefully because it is not every day that they get to attend the funeral of a man who was a prophet of God. They may not (hopefully) have a lot of chances to do so. It was very emotional to stand as a group as the casket was brought in and out, it made us feel like we were really there and true participants. It was touching to see people standing in the streets waving white handkerchiefs as the hearse passed by. Even though he was a great man, he was so humble and would never have said so himself. We loved listening to the funny stories about him. Tonight we're going to write in our journals about our impressions of it, and what we learned from President Hinkley's life of dedicated service. Even though we have shed tears for him because we loved and admired him so much, I think the best way to honor him is to try to do a little better, to "Stand a little taller" as he would say. In our family, we are going to have Family Home Evening lessons on his "Way to Be!" book and read from and discuss one of his "Be's," like be grateful, be smart, be clean, be prayerful, be involved, be still, each week. He is a great example of how to live as a follower of Jesus Christ and I plan to celebrate his life by trying harder to follow that example!

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