I don't usually cry over people I've never met, but today, right now, I can't stop the tears streaming down my cheeks, nor do I want to. I am glad I'm watching President Hinkley's funeral alone.
President Hinkley was a great man. Still is, though in spirit form, of course. He, over his lifetime, has done so much to shape the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints into what it is today. I have been touched by the many tributes to his accomplishments, from his first assignment after his mission, rewriting missionary materials, and later work updating teaching and publicity materials; establishment of the Perpetual Education Fund to interrupt the cycle of poverty for those members living in third-world nations; the establishment of 124 functioning temples across the world (the 125 to be dedicated this month), and the acquisition and restoration of many sites important in church history; to his many writings and his eternal optimism. He has done so much, so tirelessly, and with such humility that I know I didn't comprehend how much of an impact he's had.
Just a few reactions while watching the coverage of the funeral and graveside service--I love the story Elder Tingey just told about Pres. Hinkley taking the stairs--that's classic! Walking down the hall, cane clicking along, and right past the open elevator to climb the stairs to his office. I'm glad he's shared the sentiment Pres. Hinkley shared with him, asking, Have you remembered the person who is struggling?
It's an amazingly beautiful day in Salt Lake, with a clear blue sky and clean white snow dusting the ground. Very appropriate.
I will just quote this one statement among many that I think encapsulates the message of Pres. Hinkley's Earthly life.
“The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
( Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 95.)
Go with peace, President Hinkley. We love you and will miss you.