Sunday, February 17, 2008
President Gordon B. Hinckley
President Hinckley died Jan. 27, 2008. I don't know why I was shocked at first...maybe not shocked, but sadenned. Sandy called about 9:20 p.m. and asked if we heard anything on TV or on the radio. I said we wouldn't hear anything like that. I told him to turn on the TV or radio in Idaho! Ken decided to go to the Internet. Meanwhile Zannah called and told us the rumor was true. She said word traveled fast in the LDS community. Seeing that he died at 7 p.m. MST, and Sandy called at 9:20 EST, I should say so. Jewely called, too.
During the Christmas devotional I heard President Monson speak and at that time I was struck by a testimony right then and there that he would, indeed, be a great prophet and I shouldn't worry about Pres. Hinckley passing away. I didn't know why at the time why I was receiving this little insight. Then Pres. Hinckley got up to speak. My, he looked like death warmed over. His speech was slurred. I knew then that it would only be a short period of time.
Then again...Pres. Hinckley was 97 years old! How many times had he said he 'hoped' to see us at the next conference.
I am so glad I got to see him in person. Not to shake hands or anything, but to be in the same room; breathing the same air; feeling of his spirit.
I think it was 1996 or 1997 when he came to Madison Square Garden in NYC. I was teaching the Book of Mormon in seminary that year and we were at 3 Nephi. I love the part in 3 Nephi when Christ was getting ready to leave and he perceived that the crowd did not want him to go. So he stayed longer. More spiritual things happened.
When GBH was at MSG and he was done speaking -- I DID NOT WANT HIM TO LEAVE! I kept saying in my heart, "Please, don't go yet. Please, stay!" And he did! He shook everyone's hand that was on the podium with him. He turned. People were waving white handkerchiefs and spontaneously started to sing "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet."
He made his way across the stage, waving, and people spontaneously broke out with "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again."
By that time I was using my handkerchief to blow my nose! I remember saying to Jewely, who was only about 7 or 8, to look around and drink it all up and always remember this.
In 2002, right after Sandy went to the MTC, on October 25th to be exact (I remember because it was the anniversary of my baptism), GBH came to Philadelphia. He had been to the dedication of a building at the U of Penn and was a speaker. He apologized that his voice was not very loud that he had been talking all day.
Then, all of a sudden, his voice got VERY loud! I remember looking around to see if others noticed -- they did! I just remember him saying over and over that he loved us. He reminded me of a gentle grandfather who loved his children/grandchildren unconditionally. I felt of his love that day and I was glad to be there.
I am so glad for my testimony of this church. I am glad I joined. It fills my heart that I have made the choice to be a member. I feel priviledged to go to church on Sunday and to participate in receiving the sacrament; to be edified by the talks; by the Sunday School lesson and RS lesson. I am happy for my association with all the many members I have met in my life and for their testimonies, too.
I am happy all my children have testimonies of the true church of Jesus Christ.