“I urge you with all the capacity that I have to reach out in a duty that stands beyond the requirements of our everyday lives; that is, to stand strong, even to become a leader in speaking up in behalf of those causes which make our civilization shine and which give comfort and peace to our lives. You can be a leader. You must be a leader, as a member of this Church, in those causes for which this Church stands. Do not let fear overcome your efforts, for as Paul wrote to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’ (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear comes not from God but from the evil one. The adversary of all truth would put into your heart a reluctance to make an effort. Cast that fear aside and be valiant in the cause of truth and righteousness and faith. If you now decide that this will become the pattern of your life, you will not have to make that decision again. You will put on the ‘armour of God’ and raise your voice in defense of truth, whatever the circumstances now and in all the years that lie ahead (see Eph. 6:11)” (Brigham Young University devotional, Marriott Center, 17 Sept. 1996).And with great boldness he did this very thing in his own life. As a prophet of God, ordained as much in March of 1995, he grew the temples of God from 47 to a now approaching 150 across the world. He was determined to reach every land and every people.
Two of the things I love most about this man who shuffled off his mortal coil this day was his unfailing love for Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and his wonderful sense of humor. He is no longer the "last leaf on the tree."
My heart and thoughts go out to President Hinckley's family at this time and also, especially, to President Thomas S. Monson and the rest of the Apostles who have lost two of their dearest friends in such a short time period. No new prophet will be called until after President Hinckley's funeral. At that time, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle will gather and a man unanimously chosen as the next President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and prophet of God.
Goodbye, President Hinckley. You will be missed, truly missed. I leave you with his testimony:
"I hope that all of you will remember that on this Sabbath day you heard me bear my witness that this is God's holy work. The vision given the Prophet Joseph in the grove of Palmyra was not an imaginary thing. It was real. It occurred in the broad light of day. Both the Father and the Son spoke to the boy. He saw Them standing in the air above him. He heard Their voices. He gave heed to Their instruction.Gordon B. Hinckley dies at 97
"It was the resurrected Lord who was introduced by His Father, the great God of the universe. For the first time in recorded history, both the Father and the Son appeared together to part the curtains and open this, the last and final dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times.
"The Book of Mormon is all that it purports to be—a work recorded by prophets who lived anciently and whose words have come forth "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations" (Book of Mormon title page).
"The priesthood has been restored under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John. All the keys and authority pertaining to eternal life are exercised in this Church.
"Joseph Smith was and is a prophet, the great Prophet of this dispensation. This Church, which carries the name of the Redeemer, is true.
"I leave you my testimony, my witness, and my love for each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
President Gordon B. Hinckley
April 1, 2006, Sunday morning session of the 176th Annual World General Conference