Posted by: Lula in London | January 29, 2008

President Hinckley

Elder Ballard recently encouraged us bloggers to talk about the Church. Here is a press release I found from England about President Hinckley’s passing. He will be greatly missed in so many ways.

Worldwide President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dies, locals mourn

“There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, if we have faith.” Those were the words of President Gordon B Hinckley, worldwide leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aged 97, who died at his Salt Lake City, Utah home Sunday evening from causes incident to age. A successor of the 13 million member Christian Church, 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.

President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church. Over 190,000 Church members in England are now mourning his death.

Local Church leader, Bishop Bryan Harris of the High Wycombe congregation, on hearing of President Hinckley’s passing said: ‘President Hinckley was loved by many for the attention and kindness that he showed to the individual, for his loving reprovals, his quick wit, and his incurable optimism. Logging trips to Russia, China, India and Africa in his 96th year, his desire to serve his Heavenly Father to the end was inspirational. We will miss him.”

Throughout his life President Hinckley would speak fondly of the United Kingdom. He first arrived here in 1930, when President Hinckley served a two-year mission in England. Often quoting his time here as “a life-changing experience”. He visited the British Isles often, dedicating the Preston temple in 1998. His last visit at age 93 had him meeting with Latter-day Saint Church members throughout the UK.

President Hinckley was the most traveled president in the Church’s history. His duties have taken him around the world many times to meet with Latter-day Saints in more than 60 countries. He spoke often of the importance of following the example of Jesus Christ, gaining an education and serving others. He had served in various capacities in the Church for over 78 years. Of this service he said: “It is not a sacrifice to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is never a sacrifice when you get back more than you give.”

President Hinckley has received a number of educational honors and honourary degrees from several universities. The Gordon B. Hinckley Endowment for British Studies, a program focused on the arts, literature and history of the United Kingdom, was established at the University of Utah.

 

President Hinckley was honoured by the National Conference of Community and Justice (formerly the National Conference of Christians and Jews) for his contributions to tolerance and understanding in the world; and received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 2004, he was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in the White House. In March 2000 President Hinckley addressed the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He also has addressed the Religion News Writers Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and twice has addressed the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

President Hinckley has written and edited several books and numerous manuals, pamphlets and scripts, including a best-selling book, Standing for Something, aimed at a general audience. In it, he champions the virtues of love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness, mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism and faith. He also testifies of what he calls the “guardians of virtue,” namely traditional marriage and family.

President Hinckley married Marjorie Pay in the Salt Lake City Temple in 1937. They have five children, 25 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren. He was preceeded in death by his wife on April 6, 2004.

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