In memory of Gordon B. Hinckley


This is a long overdue and very inadequate tribute to a man who made a great difference to the world and to me personally. Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, died on the 27th of January this year.

I loved his dry sense of humor and quick wit. I admired his insatiable thirst for knowledge, he was constantly learning, curious and knew a lot about a lot. At 97 he was sharper and more articulate then I can ever hope to be. I am astounded by his energy and his sense of duty. Knowing how much travel takes out of a person, as well as how much this man traveled leaves me marveling at his stamina and at his unselfishness (as he admitted that he did not particularly enjoy travel). I am inspired by his unfailing optimism, although he was completely cognizant of reality, he was ever positive,cheerful and hopeful. Learning and optimism were two of his recurring themes.

I feel a personal connection to him as I came of age so to speak, in the years of his Presidency. His lovely granddaughter Holly spent a couple of months living with my family in South Africa. She looks so much like him, that when she came to see my mom at my home a few years ago and I walked into the living room not knowing she was there, I literally did a double take, a young, female Pres.Hinckley in my living room! When she spoke of him as "grandpa" I was touched. It was shortly after his wife, Marjorie had passed away and Holly spoke about how hard this was for her grandfather. Although he had a perfect knowledge that he would see her again and be with her forever, that wait, no matter how short was a terribly painful experience for him. Their romance was a beautiful thing.

He frequently rubbed shoulders with Presidents and Kings and celebrities, but remained completely down to earth and humble. He was no respecter of persons and when I would watch him speak, I always felt as though he was speaking directly to me.

President Hinckley was always so very alive, although he had in the last few years begun to joke that he was "still here" at each General Conference, I don't know if any of us quite believed that it would ever be his last. I will feel particularly bereft I think, when he is not there at the next one.

I am participating in this challenge as a tribute to him. A couple of years ago he challenged everyone to read the Book of Mormon before the end of that year. I participated in that challenge as did so many others, and it was a great experience so when I was notified of this one I was excited at the opportunity. Of course, I could have taken on this challenge myself but by doing it in tribute to him, I am reading a little more carefully and appreciating the gift of this book, and the gift of a living Prophet that much more.

Here's a little graph of my progress. I am currently 0 pages behind!! This morning I was like 40 pages behind. As you can it has been a spiritual day and I currently have a big headache.

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