Where was I when President Hinckley became president? Well, funny you asked. I was a freshman at BYU, in my first little relationship in one of the best and most carefree times in my life. I thought I knew the church was true, but honestly my faith hadn’t been tried much. I’d lived in the Utah bubble for quite some time, and let’s face it I was only 18. I remember sitting in the conference center at President Hunter’s funeral. I was so touched by all he had done, but I was also very excited that President Hinckley would be prophet, as I had already enjoyed him a lot. I remember the first time he came to speak at BYU as the prophet and the strong feelings I receieved that he was doing God’s will on earth.
So, here we are 13 years later. And where am I now, and how has he changed that? Well, I’ve experienced a fair amount in those 13 years, death of 4 close family members, married, 2 kids big move to CA, and those just being the highlights. My life is full of worries, but honestly I look to the prophet’s words as such a comfort, and I’ve learned to rely on what they say — because I know my life will be blessed when I take their guidance.
I think my favorite thing of President Hinckley is how struck he was with grief over the loss of his wife. It was real. It showed a man who was just like me — trying to live the gospel, trying to have faith but who also has horrible things happen to him. I think that’s what I appreciate most. He articulated his grief and helped us all realize (he and us both) that he would see Marjorie again, and we would see our loved ones. And THAT is what the gospel is all about. The things that matter most (which doesn’t include how our mortgage will be refinanced in the next year) will be preserved, and until that time we have to live our lives by faith.
I’m so grateful for him, and for his family for sharing him with us.