27 January 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dies at 97

President Gordon B. Hinckley died at his home tonight, surrounded by family.

Links on cnn.com, nytimes.com, msnbc.com, deseretnews.com, foxnews.com.

While this is a sad event in the lives of church members and his family, I'm sure he's okay with this transition. He gets to be with his wife, Marjorie, again. He's mentioned many times in the past four years how much he's missed her.

"My brethren and sisters, at the outset, if you will bear with me, I wish to exercise a personal privilege. Six months ago, at the close of our conference, I stated that my beloved companion of 67 years was seriously ill. She passed away two days later. It was April 6, a significant day to all of us of this Church. I wish to thank publicly the dedicated doctors and wonderful nurses who attended her during her final illness.

My children and I were at her bedside as she slipped peacefully into eternity. As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams."

(Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Women in Our Lives,” Liahona, Nov 2004, 82–85)

He was scheduled to dedicate the Rexburg, Idaho temple next Sunday, so it will be interesting to see if the dedication is pushed back or if the new president is sustained before then.

President Hinckley's legacy will surely be strongly tied to temples. He dedicated 92 of the 124 in operation today.

Here's a timeline of events in his presidency.

He will be missed, but one of the great things about the Church is living prophets. It will move on.

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