Last night when I found out about the passing of President Hinckley my response was more emotional than I had anticipated. My wife and I sat on our couch tearfully discussing our experiences and feelings for our sweet prophet. I told my wife that he was my prophet. I gained my testimony before he was sustained, but it was during his term that I solidified it.
I, like Seth, have little to add that our community hasn’t already so I will share a sweet anecdote: Years back Elder Ballard came to Spokane and before speaking at a multi-stake conference he met with the priesthood leadership in which he shared an experience he had with President Hinckley. Elder Ballard had recently undergone some sort of operation after which he sat down with President Hinckley regarding his upcoming schedule. In order to fully recover from the operation Elder Ballard proceeded to suggest a cut-back in his responsibilities from three conferences a month to one, and five missionary meetings to two (or something like that, I don’t remember the exact cut-backs he recommended). At one point President Hinckley cut him off and said, “Stop, Elder Ballard. I want you to burn out, not fade away.”
That perfectly summarizes President Hinckley’s devotion to this work, a dedication which has always inspired me. Like King Benjamin before him, our dear prophet lived his own counsel to the very end and will be missed. Thank you Gordon B. Hinckley.