For those of you who do not know, Gordon B. Hinckely, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and prophet of the Lord, passed away this evening. (For more information, see http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/.) And, I cannot help but feel deeply about his passing. He was and is a great man.
Death is an interesting phenomenon, especially in our society and culture. As a whole, we do not know how to properly deal with death. As members of the church, we have great insight into the mystery of death. We understand the eternal nature of the soul; that we existed prior to this life and that we will continue after. There is great joy in knowing we can be with our loved ones for eternity. But, to imagine that there is not also terrible loss at the death of a loved one is ridiculous. We are now mortal, and our only memories are of mortality. Although we know we will be reunited in eternity, there is the here and now to live. And, I am sad to not have President Hinckley in this world for now. He was called as the president of the church when I was a senior in high school, so he has been the prophet for all of my adult life. (Those of you who are good at math and can look up dates now have a pretty good guess of how old I am!) His example of goodness and love have been hugely influential on me individually; he was a real person, not just the president of an enormous organization. I am so grateful for his willingness to serve. At the same time I feel sorrow for his departure, I rejoice to think of the reunion that must have so recently taken place between he and his wife. I would hate to be separated from my sweet husband for years, and I am sure that President and Sister Hinckley are jubilant to be together again.
I wish I could find words adequate to express my feelings about the loss of President Hinckley. I am grateful to know the loss is only temporary.