President Hinckley Passes Away At Age 97

KC KernMormon 33 Comments

hinckley.jpgThe LDS Newsroom reports:

President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through twelve years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.

President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church and had served as its president since 12 March 1995.

The Church president died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night from cause’s incident to age. Member of his family were at his bedside. A successor is not expected to be formally chosen by the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until after President Hinckley’s funeral within the next few days.

Biographical Sketch:

Born in Salt Lake City on June 23, 1910, Gordon B. Hinckley was prepared from his youth to be a prophet. After graduating from the University of Utah, he was called to serve a mission to Great Britain. After he returned, he embarked on a lifetime of service for the Church. He was employed as the executive secretary of the Church Radio, Publicity, and Literature committee, before he was called to be an Apostle in 1961. He was later called to serve as a counselor to President Kimball, President Benson, and President Hunter. Since becoming Church President on March 12, 1995, he has directed the most intense temple building program in the history of the Church in an effort to extend temple blessings to more members. He has exhibited vitality and energy as he has traveled about the world meeting and speaking to members of the Church. Through television interviews and national press publications, he has increased media attention and improved the public image of the Church. He has counseled Church members to fellowship new converts, befriend members of other faiths, live exemplary lives, and avoid the evils of the world.

Comments 33

  1. Curious, I was just thinking about President Tommy Monson a couple of hours ago-and how our story-teller would be as prophet. President Hinckley was a straight-shooter and we’ll all miss that candor. I always waited with baited breath to see what he would say.

  2. I’m also saddened by the news, although it’s hardly unexpected. I’m going to post a parallel thread on this subject, and hope some of you will be so kind as to comment. Thanks.

  3. Let the reign of Elder Monson begin, this should be interesting… oh wait, after the church grieves President Hinckley’s loss for a month or so.

  4. When I joined the church in 1991, President Benson was ill and never spoke publicly again. President Hinckley has basically been the only prophet and church president I have ever known. He is a great man and I will miss him dearly. I actually look forward to President Monson. I have high hopes for his pastoral style.

  5. I am saddened but happy that he is with his eternal wife! What a joyful reunion they must have had. Our prayers are with his family who will miss such a wonderful Father and Prophet!

  6. Regardless of my present beliefs, I truly believe he was a good man who wanted the best for his church, its members, and the world. I mourn our loss of his kind, humoured way. It will be difficult to measure up to his leadership – it might more properly be said that no man save Jesus Christ lived a better life than Gordon B. Hinckley.

  7. President Hinckley started out in his adult life as a pessimist and critic-his biographer points out. he may have even flirted with Marxism in college. We all know he was intellectual, well-read, consumately literate, savvy, funny, and definitely understood a tolerance for ambiguity. I think he was someone many of us eggheads could have gotten along with, debated, and blogged with had he lived in our generation.

    That being said, the best thing about President Hinckely was that he was a BELIEVER despite all of his cranial propensities. He singlehandedly held up and governed the Church for over 25 years. He bore his testimony not only verbally but in his dedication to it. Think about how it would be to lead a Chuch with such a radical philosophy for 25 years and not to give an inch about the divinity of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Then you go out and work your tail off to further that radical belief. A man of his intellectual background should have moved it towards a more applicable, practical, and rational faith based on the symbology of the story and not its actuality. He resisted.

    I believe it was because he was a true prophet. Despite reason and logic, the heavens plucked his heart and mind and opened themselves to him. In what way I’ll never know, but I believe he was privvy to inspiration beyond the veil. A good man as he was would have cracked under the pressure given his propensity for delicate and intelligent thought and steadfast morality. The modernity of the prophetic call is my living reason for belief. The Book of Mormon and Jospeph all draw from the well of the now in my mind and heart. It is here that my eyes and ears see, feel, and touch the truth. This, despite all reasons not to believe and the new cultural prepondency to discount the mystical in the Mormon experience.

    When President Hinckley spoke, did not our hearts burn within us?

  8. My wife and I visited the grave-site of his wife, Marjorie soon after she died. It is a beautiful granite (from the same source as the SLC temple granite)tower on a hill above Salt Lake City. His name was already on the stone next to hers. We miss him already.

  9. I think that, in coming years, we will look back upon President Hinckley’s ministry much in the same way many hearken back to President McKay’s time. Pres. Hinckley did more than anyone I can think of in the past 50 years to build bridges to those of other faiths. At the same time, he was not afraid to speak out strongly against evil, be it spousal abuse, gambling or racial intolerance. I recall being on the edge of my seat during his concluding address in the April 2006 Priesthood session. He said:

    “There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us.”

    Amen and amen. He will be missed.

  10. While I am saddened by the loss of our leader, I know that he cannot have any regrets as to his actions while on earth, only that he was not able to do more. Men like him always wish to be able to do more.

    What church member did not love the Prophet?

  11. He was finally called home to be with his Heavenly Father, his Savior and his beloved eternal companion. He was greeted with rejoicing by her and his family after a life of selfless service to the church and mankind. His accomplishments will be legendary in the history of the church.

    Could any of us have asked more of him? We will greatly miss his humor and his straight forward way of helping us to see what we all can become. Rest in Peace, Gordon Bitner Hinckley.

  12. It seems everyone will miss certain attributes of President Hinckley, whether it’s his ability to speak, his work ethic, or his intellectual insights. For me, I will miss his humor. I have loved his humor since I heard him speak at a BYU devotional when I was a student there many years ago. Whether he’s “knighting” the new apostle with his cane, or telling a finely honed joke, his lighthearted touch set him apart. Of course, there are many other attributes that make him a great man, but this was unique and was one of the reasons he was so beloved.

  13. I’ve always had a great fondness and respect for Gordon B. Hinckley, even now as a non-believer. Even in my temporary bitterness, I couldn’t watch him without smiling at his humor and Yoda-like features (no disrespect intended here). He always seemed sincere and genuine, and I think he really loved what he doing. Nevertheless, I think Hinckley was ready to go; it was pretty obvious he deeply missed his wife. He was a great motivator to the members and really helped the church branch out and get recognition. One thing he will always be remembered for is one who picked up the slack when the other presidents he served with were in ill health. He was one tough old boy, too. He pretty much continued his travels up till he was 96 and even then some. It will be very interesting to see what direction the church will take under the Thomas Monson’s watch.

    My condolences to those who truly mourn his passing.

  14. I think he taught everyone he met or spoke to that life is better with laughter, optimism, and hard work. He will be greatly missed.

  15. Re#24 “There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us.”

    ShawnL Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful quote from President Hinckley. I’ll always remember him as a great encourager. That comment just sums up his approach to encourage us all to be the best we can. I never felt that he judged the saints harshly, he always admonished us to reach a little higher or further in our efforts to be Christlike.
    As a true prophet he never pointed to himself but always pointed to the Savior. I’ll miss him; and I’ll be praying for President Monson and the brethren now this great leader has gone.

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