Monday, January 28, 2008



My family and I were having our Family Home Evening last night—we generally have ours on Sundays, since we have conflicts most Mondays for various reasons—when my son, Dylan, received a text message telling us that President Gordon B. Hinckley had just passed away. My emotional response was an interesting one. I had been expecting it (his death) any time; after all, he was 97 years of age and had been widowed from the love of his life for several years. Typically, men in his situation tend to go out pretty quickly, losing interest in life. But with President Hinckley there was a feeling that he might just decide to go on forever. He somewhat reminded me of the energizer bunny. But somehow you had to know that eventually, when no one was looking, when you were paying attention to something else, the old bunny’s batteries would run out. They did last night, and I am both sad for myself and others that loved him so much and elated for him and his loved ones on the other side of the veil who have been patiently waiting for him to rejoin them.

At 97, he was still brilliant, as far as I could tell, in all of his mental faculties. His sense of humor, legend within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had stayed extremely sharp until the end of his earthly existence. I have always enjoyed listening to the Prophet speak in what ever capacity, whether addressing a congregation himself, introducing someone else at the pulpit, or adding a thought or responding to someone else’s address. I knew and expected, as did everyone else in the listening audience, that somewhere along the way he would say something with a mischievous light in his eyes that would crack everyone up. He expressed such warmth and love for his fellow man with every word an action. I had known President Hinckley as a general authority in the Church since I was baptized as a new convert in 1963. He was the youngest member of the 12 Apostles at the time —later that year Thomas S. Monson was added to the Quorum of the Twelve—and I watched him grow in his priesthood assignments, in his responsibilities during the past few decades serving in several 1st. Presidencies, and ultimately as the President of the Church for nearly 13 years. He personally directed the church through great growth and productivity. The Church has become synonymous with helping the needy of the world, always at the front when catastrophe strikes. Under his direction, the temple growth in the Church has catapulted from roughly 50 to nearly 150 in existence, under construction, or announced. He made many efforts to reach out to other denominations and to the world at large, allowing himself to appear on nation-wide news programs to talk about his role as “Prophet”. He was inspirational to me and the other 13,000,000 members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We love him.

I personally believed him to be the man on earth authorized by God in Heaven to direct the affairs of His Kingdom on the earth. I believe he was and is a Prophet of God, and I believe his successor, President Thomas B. Monson, a wonderful man in his own right, whom I met him during a visit of his to my mission in Guatemala and El Salvador, and I am confident that the work of the Lord will continues as before with warmth love, humor and Godly inspiration.

Good bye, President Gordon B. Hinckley, we will miss you, but look foreword to embracing you again in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Randy Mundy

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