My VIP for this week is Gordon B.Hinckley who served the Lord from the time that he was a young man until his death. He served in many offices in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving as Stake President, Assistant to the Twelve Apostles, Apostles, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, counselor to several Presidents, and as President of the Church from March 12, 1995, until his death.
President Hinckley was born on June 23, 1910, and he passed away on January 27, 2008, at the age of 97. There are many reasons why I honor President Hinckley, and one of those reasons is his faith in God and his enthusiasm for life. No matter the problem that arose, he had the attitude that everything would work out. He prayed as though everything depended on God, and then he worked as though everything depended on him.
Recognizing the need for members of the Church to have temples within easy traveling distance, he took the problem to the Lord and came away with an idea to build smaller temples in areas where Church membership is smaller. On October 4, 1997, he announced the plan for smaller temples to be built throughout the world, and on October 1, 2000, he dedicated the Boston Massachusetts Temple, the 100th temple in operation. The Anchorage Alaska Temple was one of the first smaller temples built, and it was dedicated on January 9, 1999. I am especially grateful for this temple because it is within a mile of my home, and I can attend it weekly. This has been a great blessing in my life.
I remember many of the teachings of President Hinckley and appreciate the opportunity to study his life and teachings during 2017. One experience of listening to him speak was in the October 2001 general conference of the Church. Terrorists attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, and killed approximately 3000 people in the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Everyone was concerned about what would happen next. Just prior to President Hinckley’s remarks, he received word that the United States was at war in Afghanistan. He spoke about the nature of terrorism and evils found in the world, and then he told us how we could find peace even in a wicked world. I remember the feeling of peace that swept over me as I listened to his words and again whenever I listen to them. These words from the prophet of God continue to bring solace to my soul and can help others in times of turmoil and war.
Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty, whatever that duty might be. Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed. We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him. He declared, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.
Let us be prayerful. Let us pray for righteousness. Let us pray for the forces of good. Let us reach out to help men and women of goodwill, whatever their religious persuasion and wherever they live. Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary and looking to Him, the Father of us all. He has said, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.
As a prophet of God Gordon B. Hinckley led the Church through difficult times, but he was always full of faith in God and enthusiastic about the future. He is a very important person in the eyes of God and the people who love him.