Monday, January 28, 2008

In Memorium

I've been meaning to write a post on a religious subject for a while now, ever since I read Elder Ballard's commencement speech given for Fall 2007 at BYU-Hawaii about using technology to spread the gospel and our knowledge of it. He specifically mentioned blogs, and so I wanted to post about religion, and have even attempted to do so, but it has taken President Hinckley's passing to galvanize me.

As I've read some of my friend's blog entries about President Hinckley, I repeatedly read how he was "their" prophet, and I feel the same way. The first prophet I remember dying was President Hunter, and then President Hinckley's subsequent sustaining. In 2002 when he dedicated the Nauvoo Temple, the session I attended (via satellite) he stated that he was an old man, and didn't know if he would return to Nauvoo. I recall several conversations at that time, wherein I worried that this was his goodbye speech. In 2004, when his wife Marjorie died, everyone seemed to hold their breaths as to his health, but President Hinckley carried on, just like he had after the Nauvoo temple was finished.

The article in Deseret News that I read early this morning (Avram's dad called us at a quarter to four in the morning to let us know) mentioned how when he had a press conference when he was ordained Prophet, and they asked him what his "theme" would be, he said, "Carry on, yes, carry on." Although now many, including I would associate his tenure as prophet with the explosion of temples on the earth, I think that the phrase 'carry on' also aptly represents his term of service; just like President Hinckley personally carried on in his life, passed when many thought that the Lord would have released him, the church has carried on remarkably during the last twelve years.

As I read this article, it went through, bullet by bullet, the changes and advancements made under President Hinckley, and although I've lived and come of age during all of these items, I had no conscious idea that all the small announcements in General Conference had added up to so many things. To me it was a testimony of President Hinckley's divine calling of prophet; that through revelation he had been led to take the church through so many changes to help us grow and stay strong.

Like the other young adults my age in the church, I've long felt that President Hinckley was "my" prophet. When my grandmother died when I was eighteen, I cried and cried. Not for her; she was 91 or so, and righteous, and both husbands that she had had during life were waiting for her, so I knew she was doing wonderful. No, it was for me, and for the loss of my childhood that I felt. That sounds rather dramatic, but my sister felt the same way, too. That we had grown up close to her, and that with her gone, a part of our youth had irretrievably left as well. This morning as I lay in bed digesting the news of President Hinckley's death, I cried a little. Once again not because I have any doubts as to where he is now, nor to the succession of the church. Rather, I cried because President Hinckley has been the prophet of my coming of age, and with his passing I feel a personal epoch in my life as my young adult years pass too.

1 comment:

  1. Thora,
    I just wanted to say I think this blog is particularly eloquent, at least I was very touched very much by it.