Meridian readers have been flooding our inbox with their loving and tender responses to the passing of President Hinckley. Expressions of sympathy can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Church headquarters at 47 East South Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150.
Here is a small sample of the emails sent by Meridian readers:
President Hinckley was great!, our way to honor him is following his advisers, I’d have been in the church since President McKay, and feel sad and happy when these great prophets pass away. With love from Argentina.
How can one explain the feeling in one’s heart, of the love that flows and flows, of the desire to be just like? President Hinckley was that example of how we should be; how to love, how to serve, how to always find a smile, how to live. His tender spirit was and still is filled with a strength of God that moved many people to find what God is all about, even those of us who have been members for a long time.
I met President Hinckley and Sister Hinckley at a regional conference for the Pittsburgh Mission a number of years ago, before he was president of the Church. At that time we were allowed to greet those that came to speak, and I had the opportunity to not only greet, but received hugs and well wishes from both. Immediately I felt their power! I wanted to be just like them!
I am still trying, and though I know I have not even come close to President Hinckley’s status, his example, his love, his caring nature has always encouraged me forward. I taught home-study seminary for ten years, and hope my students felt his love like I have. I hope as I have served and continue to serve in the gospel, I can bring some of President Hinckley’s spirit into wherever I serve, how ever I serve, and when ever I serve. Praise to the Man who communed with Jehovah. God bless him always.
Susan L. Ogden
The Lord has called His servant home.
We shall miss him. He was so beloved by Saints around the world, that we should call ourselves blessed for having him as long as we did. He is now with his beloved Marjorie and we can only imagine the joy of their reunion.
Shakespeare wrote: “His life was gentle, and the elements so mix’d in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, ‘This was a man!’ And so we say with sweet sadness: “Good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”
Joan M Caldwell
I was deeply saddened upon learning of President Hinckley’s passing. My first thought was that now he is reunited with his beloved wife. How happy he must be! He has finished the course, and he has fought a good fight.
I have several outstanding memories of President Hinckley. First, is how he brought the temples to the people. It is nothing short of a miracle how many temples he facilitated in building for the people of the Lord. Then there’s the talk to the women of the Church in October’s 2003 General Conference. More than any other earthly person, he helped me feel like he knew what I was going through as a wife and mother. And last but not least, was his entreat to stand a little taller, be a little kinder, forgive a little more, love a little more. These things have been like a hallmark in my life — a guiding star for my path as I try to serve the Lord in all I do.
I will greatly miss President Hinckley, and I honestly pray for his family’s comfort and peace during this time of sorrow. May they be strengthened and uplifted and feel their parent’s love surround them and never leave them.
I love President Hinckley and look forward to the time I can meet him on the other side. I never had the honor during this life time.
One of the things that stick in my mind about President Hinckley was something that took place during the dedication of the Melbourne Australia Temple. His humbleness and his wonderful sense of humour shone through when he laid the foundation stone and cracked a joke about his ability or lack of it in laying mortar. Even at such a sacred moment he had the ability to make one chuckle with enjoyment with him.
Barbara F Jones
Hi my name is Ferne Goodchild, I suffer from SMA and I live in South Africa.
In 1997 when He came to South Africa I as able to see him and shake is hand and I could really feel his wonderful and special spirit, and just the few words he said to me were you are a special daughter of Heavenly Father has always stuck with me and I will miss his smiling face and his wonderful insights to life.
All my love and condolence to the Hinckley family.
President Hinckley has had a profound effect on the world.
He was such a wonderful, spiritual and humble man. All who met him were touched by his humanity.
We had the privilege to meet him whilst living in Utah in the 90’s and we cherish the incredible blessing of being in the presence of a Prophet of God.
He will be remembered for his temple building, his vitality, his sense of humour, his simple faith and many other things, but our family will always remember him for his ability to state the Gospel simply and succinctly — in a way that everyone can understand.
We will miss you, our beloved Prophet.
The McDonald Family
President Hinckely has been my mentor. His sense of humour and courage are second to none. My family and I will greatly miss him. My 1st daughter was born (23rd June 2000) when President Hinckley was 90yrs old.
Eleazar Uzoamaka Ikpegbu
Stake President, Owerri Nigeria Stake
Owerri, Imo, Nigeria
An uncommon man for common people, I felt inspired by his energy, faith and wit. After listening to him speak, I always wanted to do something big — build a house, plant an orchard of tall trees, or travel around the world doing good. I haven’t done these things. But I am painting baseboards in my old house, planting tomatoes, and helping to defeat a bad bill by gathering signatures in my neighborhood.
When I get tired of fighting my personal “uphill battles,” I think of what his father said to him when he was a discouraged missionary, “forget yourself and get to work” and how he DID just that — for 64 more years.
Hoorah for Gordon B. Hinckley! (I’m waiving my white hankie)
How grateful we are for his long life and his amazing service. How grateful we are this day that he is with his beloved Marjorie.
The first time we remember seeing President Hinckley was in the early 1960s when he came to San Jose Stake for stake conference. We were members of the Santa Clara Ward. We had a new bishop who was in the armed services. Shortly after his call, he received orders sending him to Korea. He organized the ward, was released, and went off to Korea. His wife remained in our ward with her children.
At the Stake Conference, President Hinckley called her by name, and publicly reported to her on the fine service her husband was giving in Korea. I have always remembered the love and kindness I felt at that sweet act of his.
In 1999-2000, we served in Thessaloniki, Greece, and I often heard the young missionaries talking of him of how much they loved him. His humor was so delightful to them.
We extend our condolences and our love to his children, and we pray for President Monson.
Thank you for this opportunity to express love and appreciation for President Hinckley and his amazing love and service.
Bill and Vivian Rogers
President Hinckley will surely be missed. It make me stop and think what a wonderful reunion back home where we all are trying to make it to. What a wonderful man. My prayers are with everyone at this sad time.
I’m a member from Cebu, the Philippines. Before my family moved to Cebu, we used to live in Manila because my wife and me worked in the Church office there.
I was editor of the monthly international magazine then titled Tambuli. Part of my job was to cover
general authorities of the Church when they visit various places in the Philippines.
As such, I covered President Hinckley in many of his visits to the Philippines, including the dedication of the Manila Philippines Temple in 1984. I also had the enviable assignment to cover him and Sister Hinckley when they visited various stakes and districts in the country.
What I can’t forget about President Hinckley is his genuine love for members of the Church. With President Hinckley, a person will always feel he is important despite his lowly station in life.
I have personally felt of his genuine interest in me and the work I’m performing for the Church. I saw him shake hands, hug and pat members on their backs in a reassuring manner that made them feel he cared for them as their leader.
I delighted in reading his books, and I whooped it up when he nonchalantly answered every question Larry King threw at him in that famous 60-minute TV episode!
I intently listened to him as he delivered the closing remarks during the October 2007 semiannual conference and chuckled in my seat when he said he plans to preside over the next conference in April 2008.
I love President Hinckley and will miss him very much.
Thanks and best regards,
Bishop Rafael Osumo
Cebu Central Philippines Stake
My husband and I were converted to the church in 1976. We live in a small New Jersey town across the river from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while our two sons live in the Salt Lake Valley. This evening, our youngest son called us at approximately 10:00 pm eastern time to tell us our beloved Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley had died. My first thought was, “He has served well and faithfully, and now he can be with his wife again.”
While searching on-line news outlets for information, I found your Meridian Photographic Essay “Remembering Marjorie Hinckley.” As I try to come to terms with President Hinckley’s death, your work has brought me comfort. “Remembering Marjorie Hinckley” is a tribute to two wonderful, loving, and dedicated people, who I believe are now enjoying a well deserved reunion in the spirit world.
Thank you both for your essay.
President Hinckley’s infectious optimism has always impressed me. When I’m down, or worried about the condition of the world, I think, “If President Hinckley, who knows more than any mortal about the condition of the world, can be positive and optimistic, then I can and should be too!”
He often reminded me of what I think Joseph Smith was like — cheery and amiable, laughing often, but with deep and profound spiritual roots and inspiration. Each time I would hear him speak, the spirit bore witness to me that he was truly a prophet and was called to be the Lord’s mouthpiece in these last days. His long life of willing service to the church is a wonderful example of truly living the law of consecration of time, talents and energy.
Haltom City, Texas
Several ward members have mentioned how close they felt to President Kimball, or President Benson or President Hunter. But for me, it’s President Hinckley. My heart ached for him, when his dear Marjorie past away. I really think that he died from a broken heart, by not having her physically near him.
It is so difficult to express feelings about a Prophet that has seemed to be so much a part of my family. Though I have never met him or even been in his presence, he gave me the feeling like he could have been my father or grandfather. He touched many generations of members and nonmembers with his counsel, humor and next door neighbor attitude. He didn’t only have his family; we (church members of all walks of life) were also his family. It saddens me to think that we will no longer enjoy his sense of humor, his one on one talks with us via General Conference, Ensign, or other places.
What a wonderful Servant of the Lord. What an honour to have known of him and his works. I am sure there was much rejoicing in the Heavenly ranks at his passing through the veil. I can only imagine the joyous greeting between husband and wife.
I feel as though I have “lost” my best friend. He has been such an incredibly consistent resource by which to steer my life. I know that the process is perfect and that the next President will be the Lord’s man in all ways, but one can’t help loving this sweet, humble, gentle man who now has passed from this earthly life, revering his utter selfless service in our behalf. Twice in his time, I was privileged to be near him; at the dedication of the Johannesburg Temple, and again when he addressed the Saints in Richmond, Virginia. Both times one was so fully aware of the spiritual giant that he is.
My sincerest condolences to President Hinckley’s family.
Coral Anna Foster
Mt. Solon, Virginia
Giant of Humility, A Prophet of God
I love to remember that President Hinckley told us that we have every reason to be hopeful. When I feel like the world is going to hades in a handbasket, I think of our wise and kind prophet who saw much more than we do, and who encouraged us to look forward in hope.
Julie Humphreys, LMFT
The day will come beyond the veil when others will comment to me, “You lived during the time of Gordon B. Hinckley?” I can just see the Savior greeting him with the phrase, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” President Monson will also be a great Prophet, but he has big shoes to fill.
Blaine L. Martinsen
A Church friend in Rotterdam phoned me this morning to tell me the news of the passing of our beloved President Gordon B. Hinckley. While we were still sleeping, he had finally passed from mortality to immortality. I have shed tears. I shall miss him so much: his powerful testimony, his great leadership, and his sparkling sense of humour.
However, mingled with tears of sorrow, are tears of joy. What a reunion he must have had with his adored Marjorie when he passed through the veil, and what rejoicing there must be with all those others who went before him!
I am profoundly grateful to have lived in the time when he was our prophet, seer and revelator. What he accomplished through his devoted service since his youthful days is astounding. Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
Hillegom, The Netherlands
President Hinckley is truly a breathtaking man — to share with us his life that was no longer his own. We will miss him greatly!! My heart aches a little and rejoices for him when I think of his tender reunion with his beloved Marjorie — and with our precious Savior and King. Well done!
My husband and I were recent converts to the Church, and we really admired this man, the president of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, he will truly be missed, but never forgotten!
Linda and Ken Lowery