I hope that you will excuse me getting a little personal in this post. Last Sunday night the head of my church our Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley passed away and I just wanted to talk about what he ment to me since it is part of my personal history. For those not of the Mormon faith he was equivalant to the Pope to the Catholics. Someone who over sees the church as a whole.
I grew up knowing of President Kimball and of President Benson, but that was before I gained a testimony or even much interest in the church so I didn't really have much connection to them. President Hunter came while I was in High school and had an interest in the church, but he passed away after about 9 months as the Prophet. I remember quite distinctly being in the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in the begining of March of 1995. We were in Spanish class since my group was all going Spanish speaking. When over the intercom they announced that President Hunter had passsed away. I remember feeling sad, but knowing that the Lord was in charge and that the church would go on.
During the next General Conference Gordon B. Hinkley was sustained as the next Prophet & President of the church. He was the Prophet while I was on my mission. I remember how his constant possitivity, optimism and humor were such a boyant example and really helped me keep going when things were difficult. But he wasn't just funny, he believed in working hard and following rules andwas constantly preaching that by his actions and his words.
That November we had a very special experience. He visited the Washington D.C. North & South mission and spoke to us with the Apostle Neal A. Maxwell. I remember him speaking to us about working hard to bring people unto the Lord and more importantly the saying "You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the number of trees that will grew from the seeds" That you can never truely tell how far reaching bringing someone into the gospel will really be. Afterwards we had the honor of being able to go through a line and shake both the Prophets and Elder Maxwells hands. Such a great experience. after visiting with us they made a visit to President Clinton and presented him with the Proclamation on the Family and his and Mrs. Clintons Family History.
During my time as a single adult and being married his advice in General Conference twice a year always halped lift me up and help me to keep going. He was such a special man. Last Sunday night I was sad to hear of his passing, but I know that the church is in the Lords hands and that our next Prophet will be guided by the Lord just as President Hinkley.