We had Stake Conference this past week, so I didn’t have a Sunday School or Priesthood lesson to write about (those seem to be my inspiration a lot) (as if there are hundreds of people waiting on pins and needles for my next post). Anyway, I did want to take a moment and say how much I will miss President Hinckley.
As it is with many people, he is the only President of the Church I have encountered in person; that encounter being a brief handshake when he came and spoke to our mission (but he did read my name off my tag, so he actually spoke my name once—that’s sort of like knowing him, right?). The reason he is the President so many people personally encountered is he went out and traveled a lot. Considering how old he was by the end of his term, it’s really quite astounding. He was 97 when he died, but he worked harder than most people a third of his age or less. He was absolutely tireless.
Of course, there was a visible change when his wife died. He still worked like the dickens, but he seemed a little bit sad, lonely, and maybe even a little disoriented. He had been with her for so long, he hardly knew what to do without her. I can understand the feeling. I haven’t been married even 10 years yet, but I would be totally lost without my wife. I wouldn’t do well without her, for many reasons.
So while I mourn for all of us for the great leader we have lost, I think that President Hinckley’s last breath was probably a sigh of relief. Now he is finally reunited with his beloved wife. And now maybe he can rest a little. He is a man who truly consecrated his life to God. But I think he didn’t expect there to be so much of it. He kept going and going, and perhaps he even wondered how much more the Lord required of him. Still, he endured to the end, having taught all of us a great deal. I will miss him and his leadership.