Sunday, January 27, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY 27 January 2008 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 causes incident to age. Members 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.
President Hinckley was known, even at the age of 97, as a tireless leader who always put in a full day at the office and traveled extensively around the world to mix with Church members, now numbering 13 million in 171 nations.
His quick wit and humor, combined with an eloquent style at the pulpit, made him one of the most loved of modern Church leaders. A profoundly spiritual man, he had a great fondness for history and often peppered his sermons with stories from the Church’s pioneer past.
He was a popular interview subject with journalists, appearing on 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace and on CNN’s Larry King Live, as well as being quoted and featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines over the years. During the Salt Lake Olympics of 2002, his request that the Church refrain from proselytizing visitors was credited by media with generating much of the goodwill that flowed to the Church from the international event.
In recent years, a number of major developments in the Church reflected President Hinckley’s personal drive and direction. In calling for 100 temples to be in operation before the end of the year 2000, the Church president committed the Church to a massive temple-building program.
In 1999 — 169 years after the Church was organized by its founder, Joseph Smith — the Church had 56 operating temples. Three years later that number had doubled, largely because of a smaller, highly practical temple architectural plan that delivered these sacred buildings to Church members in far-flung parts of the world. Many more Church members can now experience the sacred ceremonies that occur only in temples, including marriages for eternity and the sealing of families in eternal units.
President Hinckley was the most traveled president in the Church’s history. His duties took him around the world many times to meet with Latter-day Saints in more than 60 countries. He was the first Church president to travel to Spain, where in 1996 he broke ground for a temple in Madrid; and to the African nations of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Cape Verde, where he met with thousands of Latter-day Saints in 1998. In 2005, he traveled nearly 25,000 miles on a seven-nation, nine-day tour to Russia, South Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Kenya, and Nigeria.
At a general conference of Church members in April 2001, President Hinckley initiated the Perpetual Education Fund — an ambitious program to help young members of the Church (mainly returning missionaries from developing countries) receive higher education and work-related training that they would otherwise likely never receive.
Closer to his Salt Lake City home, President Hinckley announced the construction of a new Conference Center in 1996 and dedicated it four years later. Seating 21,000 people, it is believed to be the largest religious and theater auditorium in the world and has become the hub for the Church’s general conference messages to the world, broadcast in 91 languages.
Even before his term as president, President Hinckley’s extensive Church service included 14 years as a counselor in the First Presidency, the highest presiding body in the government of the Church, and 20 years before that as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
President Hinckley was born 23 June 1910 in Salt Lake City, a son of Bryant Stringham and Ada Bitner Hinckley. One of his forebears, Stephen Hopkins, came to America on the Mayflower. Another, Thomas Hinckley, served as governor of the Plymouth Colony from 1680 to 1692.
President Hinckley’s first job was as a newspaper carrier for the Deseret News, a Salt Lake City daily. After attending public schools in Salt Lake City, he earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Utah and then served two years as a full-time missionary for the Church in Great Britain. He served with distinction and ultimately was appointed as an assistant to the Church apostle who presided over all the European missions.
Upon successfully completing his missionary service in the mid-1930s, he was asked by Heber J. Grant, then president of the Church, to organize what has become the Church's Public Affairs Department.
President Hinckley began serving as a member of the Sunday School general board in 1937, two years after returning home from missionary service in Great Britain. For 20 years he directed all Church public communications. In 1951 he was named executive secretary of the General Missionary Committee, managing the entire missionary program of the Church, and served in this capacity for seven years.
On 6 April 1958, while serving as president of the East Millcreek Stake in Salt Lake City (a stake is similar to a diocese), President Hinckley was appointed as a general authority, or senior full-time leader of the Church. In this capacity he served as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles before being appointed to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 5 October 1961.
President Hinckley received a number of educational honors, including the Distinguished Citizen Award from Southern Utah University; the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah; and honorary doctorates from Westminster College, Utah State University, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University, Utah Valley State College and Salt Lake Community College. 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 awarded the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America; was honored by the National Conference for 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, President Hinckley 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 addressed the Religion Newswriters Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors and twice addressed the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
President Hinckley wrote 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 championed the virtues of love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness, mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism and faith. He also testified of what he called the “guardians of virtue,” namely traditional marriage and family.
President Hinckley married Marjorie Pay in the Salt Lake Temple in 1937. They have five children and 25 grandchildren. Sister Hinckley passed away 6 April 2004.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Huge shopping trip we don't usually do. Not sure why I had my camera that day but I did. Marvin sure knows how to ham it up for the camera!
It's good to have him back in school. They are studying Salmon and Owls at F.W.Howay. He has his cousin Darius straight from the mountains in the Ifugao province in the Phillipines there with him now so for him every day is even more of an adventure! He
s also taking swimming lessons on Friday evenings and starting up with Yoga after school again. He wants to do more but we figure that is plenty. He sure gets going easier in the mornings now that he knows his cousin will be at the door any minute. He's even getting time to eat breakfast hot and at the table instead of the usual dawdling and morning protest to greeting the day. That is working in our favor. Anastasia is loving every minute of every day and wanting to not nap. Life is just too exciting for her and if you're around you hear all about it. You may not understand a word but you will get an earful! Her vocabulary has exploded and that is helping her temper too. She is more able to express herself, with phrases like, You go away, I hate it, I don't want it, It's my favorite, I want pink and the like. Before our new addition comes there will be 10 more weeks of huffing and puffing and barfing and wiggling. I can take it right, I've done it before, right? I'm not sure if I am trying to convince you or me. I'm just starting to think about what my labour might be like reality is setting in. How hard can it be, I did it a couple of times already right? R-r-r-r-right...For updates on the pregnancy part check one of the other blogs by viewing my complete profile.
Our cat Lucky is finally back to his old self which means purring, ripping up children's left on the floor drawings and eating them. Also sleeping in the beds and shedding again and just generally being more friendly and wanting to be around us. Recently I was sick in bed with a nasty virus for longer than anticipated and it brought me so much joy that he actually jumped up on the very high bed once and slept beside me with his purring on. What a relief to have him back to normal. Now he lets the children pet him and tug on his ears a little and chases their shoelaces and those kind of things instead of keeping to himself under the table all the time. Thanks must go out to my husband who has been diligently cleaning up after him and making sure he gets his medicine and meals regularly. I think Lucky is growing on him finally after all this time. Well maybe that is going a bit too far but it warms my heart to see them liking each other a little.