As church members learned on Monday of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s passing, many of them sent their thoughts to Meridian Magazine. We published some of these poignant memories on Monday. Here are more of their memories of our beloved prophet:
On Fast Sunday in the brand New Year of 1999, my husband and daughter and I attended sacrament meeting in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. President and Sister Hinckley were there in attendance. Pres Hinckley bore his testimony and told the congregation how grateful he was to be there for the meeting and to take the sacrament with us.
Afterwards, our daughter wanted to get in line out in the hallway to shake his hand. We had had that opportunity in the past in our home area, and worried that he might be too tired to deal with a line of greeters. But the line was short that day, so we joined a few other visitors.
When President Hinckley got to my husband and extended his hand to him, my husband started to cry. (I knew he was thinking of other experiences with President Hinckley, such as being ordained a bishop by him back in 1965.) President Hinckley smiled and said, “Where are you from, brother?” My husband managed to say, “California,” and then our prophet replied consolingly, “Well, that’s not so bad!”
Marcia W. Green
When I told my 16-year-old daughter of the passing of President Hinckley, she cried. We tenderly hugged as we spoke lovingly of our memories of him. We so loved our Prophet!
We went to SLC Conference when she was 12 years old, and we will never forget the sacred experience we shared there. We knew he was a prophet of God and we knew he loved us. Sister Hinckley was alive then and held a special place in our hearts. What a wonderful companion for President Hinckley. We are so grateful for their influence in our lives. Goodbye President Hinckley — we love you!
MaryAnne and Candace Cornish
Pincher Creek, Alberta
The memories of our beloved Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, will stay in my heart forever. I loved him so much even though I never had a chance to personally meet him. He had a twinkle in his eye and a song in his heart. He truly saw the roses in winter even during his greatest trial of losing his beloved wife, Sister Margorie Hinckley, four years ago.
He was in every prayer I ever uttered. He deserved respect because he first respected us. He loved everyone, as Christ truly loved us all. He won everyone’s heart with his genuine ability to see past our sins and inspire us to want to stand a little taller. I wish I could have had a glimpse into Heaven last night around 7pm so I could have seen the reunion with his sweetheart, then with the Savior, Joseph Smith and all the prophets who ever lived.
I cannot imagine how all of Heaven must have shouted for joy knowing that he would join them. President Hinckley, thank you for your devotion to the Lord. Thank you for listening to your father’s advice long ago in England when he told you to forget yourself and go to work. Thank you for giving your life to the Lord. I will love you and Sister Hinckley forever, and hope and pray someday I can live worthily enough to be able to meet you.
I am saddened to hear of President Hinckley’s passing. I can’t help but think of the happiness on the other side of the veil. He will be missed; he warmed my heart and made me smile. I loved his wit and loved to listen to him at conference. Truly a man of God, yes he will be missed in this life, but some day we will see him again.
Thank you for sharing some of your favorite pictures of President Hinkley.
Georgia M Moore
Our feeling for President Hinckley is the loving one. We love him so much for the person he was.
So special in everything he did; a good husband, father and grandfather; a great man of God. He has touched our lives spiritually so much. We remember the 16th of March 2001, when he was here, visiting us in our chapel here in Aruba; it was a great moment for all the members. It was very special for us to hear and see him. We are very thankful, that the spirit send him here to us. We send our deepest love and sympathy for the family.
Hans Jurgen and Filomena Gotze
I worked in the features section at the Deseret News when the new building on First South was dedicated. As part of the dedication, the First Presidency walked through each department shaking hands with every employee.
President Hinckley greeted me and proceeded down the aisle. As President Monson and President Faust shook my hand, I couldn’t take my eyes off President Hinckley as he walked through the department. It was not because I’d never seen an LDS Prophet before, as I had. It was because President Hinckley was completely surrounded by a brilliant white light.
I will be eternally grateful that the Lord gave me such a beautiful and powerful witness of this great man. I have been greatly blessed by his wonderful leadership and testimony.
I am going to miss him. I loved him so much. I hoped that we would have him a while longer. He was a wonderful man and a great prophet
As a student at BYU in the 1970’s, I was in Jane Hinckley’s ward. I was assigned as her visiting teacher. She was just Jane Hinckley to me; I really didn’t know who her father was at the time.
My car was being worked on one day and she gave me a ride to campus. Jane was driving with her roommate seated beside her and I was gabbing with my roommate in the back seat, when I noticed that she was in the Administration parking lot, looking for a parking space. I whispered to my roommate “What is she doing?” wondering why she was in an “A” sticker parking lot (reserved only for senior employees of BYU). My roommate whispered back, “Don’t you know who her father is? Gordon B. HinckleyI remember thinking that it was so not fair that Jane got an “A” parking sticker, just for being the daughter of an apostle.
Years later, I read President Hinckley’s biography. I loved that book and developed such a love and admiration for President Hinckley. I was in awe of all the service he gave the Church throughout his entire life. That little incident of the BYU parking lot came into my mind and my thoughts about it then were, “Because of her father’s great service to the church, Jane Hinckley deserved all the ‘A’ stickers she could have!” She and her family gave up a lot of time with their father because of his devotion to the Lord.
I will miss this great man and can only imagine the beautiful reunion he has had with his sweet wife, Marjorie. I am grateful for his devotion to the Lord and his great example as a follower of the Lord. I was privileged to hear him speak just last week, January 20, at our stake conference. Every time I heard him speak in the past few years, I would wonder if this was the last time. I had those same thoughts as I listened to him, along with 40 other Southern California stakes that day. This time, it was the last time to hear our great prophet speak. Thank you, Gordon B. Hinckley, for the exemplary life you led.
San Diego, California
Anything that I say at this time will surely feel inadequate to express my feeling for President Hinckley. He was the president of the Church when I was converted, when my wife and I received our endowments, and when we were eternally married.
He was honored by many of and not of LDS membership. He loved the saints and expressed this love in many discourses, these I will truly miss. Those who have gone on before us will now benefit from his presence and love.
I was a member of one of the choirs who sang at the dedication of the Boise Idaho Temple. I was standing right above President Hinckley. The song was one I loved, and my emotions were overflowing and suddenly a large tear fell right onto the top of President Hinckley’s head. I was so embarrassed, but didn’t dare stop singing. I am sure he felt the tear, but he never as much as reached his hand up to wipe his head and I didn’t dare touch him. I have that memory of him etched in my mind.
I never got to meet President Hinckley in person, but I will be influenced by the spirit of humility and sense of humor that he has. He did a lot to bring the temple to many Latter-Day Saints throughout the world. This is a great benefit to many people. I love him very much and I’m sad that he has passed away. He is with his lovely wife, Marjorie and they can be happy together.
Teachey, North Carolina
And how do we honor the memory of such a great man? He brought us temples and asked us to use them more often, so we will. He set the standard for charity to all nations, so we must continue to donate and reach out in love to those in distress. He pleaded with us to be kind and loving to all mankind, to behave like true Christians, and so we will leave our political, religious and social differences behind us. He counseled us to be free of debt and leave the entrapments of the world behind, and so we must follow in his footsteps and refocus our eyes on heaven.
There is no better way to honor this prophet of God than to heed his counsel and “get to work”! When we honor him, we honor God.
How we will miss you!
What a wonderful Prophet President Hinckley is! When he came to the San Antonio Texas Temple dedication, I remember the feeling that came with him when he entered the room. The spirit was so strong and overwhelming! He really is a Prophet of God. I just love his humor and
his love for all of us, whether he’s met us personally or not. He really loves us all. He will greatly be missed, but how wonderful it is to know that he’s with his beloved wife now! What a wonderful thing — to know that families are forever and that we live again when we leave this beautiful earth.
I feel the sadness in his demise, but I know he is now with his beloved wife, and I know he is happy. I always loved to see him speak at conference and other meetings. I knew there was something that the Lord wanted him to speak on, he was truly a prophet of the Lord I will miss him.
When a great light goes out it affects the earth in more ways than we can ever imagine. What happened to many of the computer servers at that time? We are bereft of a great and marvelous soul, one who has done his work with honour and love and great power. How we will miss his dear face, his tender love for us and not to forget that quick yet gentle wit.
When I joined the Church at the age of 38 in 1983, Gordon B. Hinckley was immediately my favorite apostle. I think he was one of the reasons I joined the Church, actually. And he has continued to be my favorite, 25 years later. How I have loved, and continue to love, that dear, sweet, brilliant, funny, sunny man. A light has gone out in the world today with his passing.
How can we possibly have General Conference without President Hinckley? I will miss him forever, but am so happy for his joyous reunion yesterday with his beloved Marjorie. Nevertheless, my heart aches for the world’s loss and my loss.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
President Hinckley is one of a kind. We have had many great and marvelous modern-day prophets, and we love them all. However, President Hinckley’s wit and perfect timing endeared him not only to the members of the Church, but to all he has met around the world. He has been more than a President or Prophet, he has been an ambassador for the Church wherever he has gone, and he will be missed beyond telling.
President Hinckley became part of me because he reminded me of how simple the Gospel really is. The words of the song “Constant as the North Star” comforts me now when I think of him. I don’t think any of us can let our sorrow overcome the joy that we feel for him being reunited with his beloved Marjorie. I pray that I may live worthily, doing my best as he has counseled me and rest finally where I can even hear mention of him. I will never be able to think of him without smiling. President Hinckley has surely “shown us how we can.”
Dolores Anne Harris
Several years ago I wrote a brief letter of thanks to President Hinckley, who at the time was serving as a councilor to President Benson. I noted his yeoman service to the kingdom during that difficult period when both President Kimball and Elder Romney were basically incapacitated and the burden of Church leadership fell so heavily on his able shoulders. In closing I wrote: I am an ordinary man but am a better man because of you and the extraordinary person you have become.
Two weeks later, I received a gracious reply from Elder Hinckley that included the following: You say you are an “ordinary man.” No man is ordinary who walks in faith and fidelity in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I shall miss this great man.
I am deeply saddened by President Hinckley’s passing. I think of the wonderful leader, and powerful world influence that is now gone. It is a loss not only for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but also for the world.
President Hinckley had a unique way of endearing himself to world leaders, public and political figures all the way to the average blue collar worker. His ability to express his beliefs without offence, with genuine kindness no doubt enabled him to become one of the most respected of religious leaders. His keen wit, made him human and personable, and helped win the hearts and love of people world wide. He will be sorely missed!
He is a wonderful, beloved man. His sense of humor and love of the gospel were sweet. I will miss him and will have a loneliness in my heart for him. But I also rejoice for him; he is with his sweet Marjorie and his mother, father, and loved ones. He is with Joseph, Brigham, Mormon, Moroni, Abraham, Noah, just to name a few. He is happy, he served and he served well. He is with Heavenly Father and Jesus. Wow! What more could one desire? I will always love him and be grateful I was on the earth during his reign. I will follow our next prophet with all my heart and soul for I know the gospel is true.
Salt Lake City, Utah
President Hinckley was as much like a favorite grandfather as he was the leader and prophet of the church. His gentle wit and demeanor were exemplary, and when he expressed his love for us, it was easy to feel he was talking specifically to each of us. With all of his years of service as an apostle, counselor and president of the Church, his passing brings a sense not that he has finally retired, but that he has gone on to a place where his physical limitations will hinder him no
more. The reunion with his beloved Marjorie is something that counters our grief at his departure with confidence that he was truly welcomed home by one who is most dear to him.
President Hinckley has always been on my list of heroes. His sense of humor and quick wit have made him a favorite among the people outside and inside the LDS faith. I believe the fact that his messages were always full of hope, love and compassion. Our prophet truly lived his religion and what a wonderful example of service. He was at 97 and still keeping a busy schedule of service to the Church. We should all learn from that!
How thankful the LDS people should feel to know that temples are closer to them than ever before and the sacred work can be done. I am thankful that he wanted everyone to come to know Jesus Christ; he wanted us to repent and look forward to the future with confidence. Just to hear his voice brought comfort and peace; his words calmed and encouraged. How I will miss our Prophet Gordon B, Hinckley, how I look forward to the day I can thank him personally for his love, service and compassion. To his family, I say thank you for sharing your father and grandfather with us. His example will help generations strive to live better.
I will miss President Hinckley so much. He was the best of everything good in this world. What a blessing to live during the time period of his great leadership. I am so grateful he is reunited with his Heavenly Father, his Savior Jesus Christ, and his dear wife.
“I leave you my testimony, my witness and my love for each of you.” No longer will we hear these beautiful and heartfelt words from the mouth of our beloved Prophet. But the indelible mark these simple but powerful words made upon each of our hearts will remain forever.
Known for his tireless and insatiable desire to have temples built far and near so that all members are afforded the opportunity to visit the house of the Lord, must be continued to preserve his legacy.
Sleep, dear prophet, and enjoy your eternal reward in the presence of Heavenly Father, and your much missed “sweetheart,” in the Celestial Kingdom.
Donna J. Townsend
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
My fondest memory of President Hinckley was sitting next to him on the stand when he was a counselor in the First Presidency. I was serving as a missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City North Mission, and my companion and I happened to attend President Hinckley’s home ward in the Ensign Peak Stake the first Sunday in January, 1982.
It was Fast and Testimony Meeting, and, as sometimes happens, the testimonies were somewhat rambling, with little mention of those things we truly believe in. After awhile, I got up and bore a fairly typical missionary testimony, of my faith in Jesus Christ, my belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet, and my love for the Book of Mormon. After returning to my seat, Pres. Hinckley leaned over, gave me a wink, and whispered, “Thank you, Sister, for giving us a real testimony!”
He will be greatly missed.
Linda Volkman McFate
Eagle Mountain, Utah
He was such a positive force in my life. Always accentuating the positive even in this world of chaos. Looking for the good wherever he went. His great love for everyone made me want to be a better person. He will be sorely missed!
Lemon Grove, California
When President Hinckley said that he would like to reach the 100 milestone, I fully expected he would. He had such determination. I was so sad to hear of his passing, but on one hand, I am warmed by the knowledge that he and Marjorie have been reunited. He shared his sorrow at her passing so that we could see that it’s all right to mourn at the death of those we love. He also allowed us into his private life to know of the love and respect he had for his wife.
The image of his riding in his car and sketching the small temple design, by revelation, of course, will always pervade my memory. He has accomplished such a remarkable legacy by directing the building of so many temples. What a blessing to our ancestors and to members of the church who do not have to travel so far to redeem the dead or to prepare themselves for the Celestial Kingdom. He certainly was imbued with the Spirit of Elijah.
Lastly, I will never forget the cute curl of the lip when he was about to say something amusing. He held up his cane and said that the doctor said he should carry it, so he did. Later he used it, and we knew his time for leaving us was approaching. He would make jokes at conference about being back when everyone thought he wouldn’t make another conference. He knighted a new apostle with his cane. His sense of humor gave us insight into a real man who was also a prophet. I thank him for his testimony of Jesus Christ, his initiation of the Family Proclamation to the world, his TV interviews, and for his love and service to 13 million Latter-day Saints. We will all miss this unpretentious, mighty man.
As a grandfather who has grandchildren who live far away, I have begun making gospel-centered scrapbooks to give as Christmas gifts. Currently I am working on one about the prophets, and I would like to share my concluding thoughts in my scrapbook about President Hinckley:
I think President Hinckley must pray every day: “Lord, where are some more people we can bless today?” — and when the Lord answers him he goes out and finds a way to do it.
Whenever I think one person just doesn’t matter, I remember what one man’s love for his fellow man has done for the world. I think President Hinckley has been a very good example of manhood and what a priesthood holder should do with his life.
Bruce Forbes (Grandpa Bruce)
I would like to give my condolences to President Hinckley’s family. Even though we all grieve for your loss of a great man, father, and prophet, I am excited he is reunited with your mother. I remember the first time seeing him speak in person. He was first councilor to President Ezra Taft Benson, and he was in Lansing Michigan for a tri-regional conference. I thought, What a great man he is! — and was thrilled to hear him speak. Than when he dedicated the Detroit Temple in October of 1999, I was thrilled I would see and hear from this Prophet of God. He made himself humane to all; no pretending was ever associated with him. I will miss him dearly.
What a sad day. President Hinckley was such a wonderful example for us. My husband, a convert, said, “How could anyone hear him speak and not know that he is a prophet?” But it is a very sad state of affairs when the news just has a ten-second blurb about his passing and you can’t change the channel without hearing about an actor that died because of drugs.
North Aurora, Illinois
President Hinckley has influenced my life by his example and going forward with life. He was a great prophet, and a lot of us loved him even though we didn’t know him personally. But because he was our Prophet, we felt like we knew him personally. When he announced the rebuilding of the Nauvoo Temple, I was with my daughter and we actually heard the former saints shout for joy. We looked at each other, astonished at what we had heard. He will be really missed; he was a great man. But all of our leaders are great.
Although we have never met President Hinckley in our earthly existence, we weep for him and for his family. When I read the news on the internet this morning, I looked at my husband and he automatically knew what had happened. I do not know how he knew — he just knew. We had been feeling uneasy and restless all Sunday night. It was always a blessing to hear him speak at conferences. It is a blessing that he served for so long and dedicated so many temples. I know that Heavenly Father welcomed him with open arms. “Well done my good and faithful servant.” His spirit shall be with everyone and everything.
Paxton and Melissa Roberts and family
One of my fondest and earliest memories of President Hinckley was as a newly-baptized and confirmed convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nearly 19 years ago. I attended an area conference, held in a large convention center on a university campus in Hammond, Louisiana. When President Hinckley stood to speak, I saw an innumerable aura of angelic faces surrounding him.
I leaned over and whispered to my friend, who had long been a member of the Church, and asked if she saw them. She did not. I insisted and could not believe she did not see them. However, they were there and they did not leave my sight until this holy man again took his seat. Little did I know that years later, he would become our beloved Prophet and lead our Church in remarkable, profound ways! I believe that this wonderful man was being guided and protected, even then, by our Father in Heaven; and, I will never forget being blessed to witness that testimony.
If you’ve read President Hinckley’s biography, you know that during the years his family was growing and growing up, he would constantly remodel and expand their family home as required, doing all the work himself. However, in his later years, he and his wife Marjorie moved into an apartment in downtown Salt Lake City next to the Church Office Building.
While Sandra and I lived back in Washington D.C., we got to know a sister in our ward, Marion Hardy, whose late husband had been a missionary companion with President Hinckley in England many decades earlier. She told me about visiting President and Sister Hinckley in Salt Lake City a few years earlier. President Hinckley (or “Gordie,” as she called him) was showing her around the apartment when he led her over to a closet. Smiling, he opened the door — and there, neatly organized, were the myriad tools that he had used over the decades to remodel their old house and perform his other construction and repair chores. He had little need or use for them, but he could not bear to leave them behind when he and his wife moved downtown.
Another true story, for I was there. Either 20 or 30 years ago, while I was at BYU — I honestly don’t remember if it was when I was an undergraduate or when I was teaching there — President Hinckley came down from Salt Lake City to speak at the BYU multi-stake fireside on the BYU campus. When he got up to speak, he noted that he had encountered some reckless and inconsiderate drivers on the freeway on the way down to Provo. He said that it reminded him of a story he had once heard:
A Quaker farmer went out one morning to milk his cow. After he had been milking for a few minutes, the cow pulled up its hind leg and kicked the farmer, sending him sprawling. The Quaker quietly got up, brushed the straw off, and continued to milk. A few minutes later, the cow again jerked its hind leg and knocked the farmer off his stool. Again, the Quaker got up, brushed off straw and dirt, sat down, and continued to milk. A few minutes later, the cow let loose with both feet, knocking over not just the farmer but the almost-full bucket of milk, which emptied out all over the floor. The Quaker slowly got up, brushed himself off, and walked around to the front of the cow. He looked the cow in the face and said, “I cannot curse thee, and I cannot strike thee — but I can sell thee to the Methodist down the road who will beat hell out of thee.”
There was a collective gasp as 23,000 BYU students and faculty members took in the fact that an Apostle of the Lord had just said that in a Church fireside on a Sunday evening — and then a roar of laughter that lasted for quite some time.
I will miss President Hinckley, but I cannot grieve too much for his passing. He served the Lord and His Church unfailingly and with great effort and sacrifice for over 70 years, and I’m sure he has missed his wife Marjorie since her death back in 2004. He deserves the rest and the sweet company of his beloved wife. May the Lord bless his children, friends, and colleagues and help all of us to live up to his example and goals.
Posted with permission from the blog
The moment the Holy Spirit conferred to me that Brother Hinckley was a Prophet of the Lord, Seer and Revelator was the moment He gave the Bible away with the Book of Mormon in advertising. I had always known to truly let others know the importance of the Book of Mormon, we must tell others how to link all the scriptures together. The pieces to the puzzle — the Gospel — were falling into place. Our ancestors knew how important all the written words were, and we must express the same thought and deed.
Brother Hinckley will be remembered as a great Prophet.
Joseph G. Dion
I had returned home last night around 8 o’clock, when I had received a phone call from my father-in-law telling us of the news of the passing of President Gordon B. Hinckley. My father had received a phone call from some friends in Provo [Utah] about his passing. Then we had sat down and told our children about the event, and my 7-year-old began to cry. The first words out of his mouth were, “I loved President Hinckley and I do not want him to die, because he is a good Prophet.” My eyes began too water and seeing the love that my child had for President Hinckley, for he was a great man and had love for all.
Randy S. Hyland
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
President Gordon Hinckley was a man of vision and love for all. His spirit was warm and full of love of life. He was a remarkable man who was a beacon to all. As a member, I was filled with a great vision of President Hinckley, making his way to share his view of a peaceful world.
Our beloved prophet — you could see it in his countenance, you could hear it in his voice, you could understand it in his words, you could witness it in his works, you could feel his faith and love when he spoke. We will sorely miss this ever faithful and diligent servant of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ — our brother, our leader, our president, our beloved prophet. It is time for him to go home and we must continue to stand up and carry on in his righteous example. We Thank Thee, O God, for this Prophet. We will see him again on the other side of the veil.
What more can I say, than he was a great man — one of the greatest in history. We loved him for his sincerity, his sense of humor, his ability to communicate with everyone whether they are members of the church or not. His shoes will be very difficult to fill, but the Lord always seems to have someone waiting to step into them and win over our hearts.
Think of how happy he is this morning to be with his beloved wife and think of how many people will be waiting to shake his hand and thank him for the service he rendered to the world.
Lester Ann Jensen
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada