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No matter our concerns today or in the future, a little optimism may be just the thing to pull us through. “Things will work out. They always do,” said Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who died on Jan. 27 at 97. He often added, “The best is yet to come.”

That’s a prophet with an eternal perspective.

Hinckley also displayed humor and determination. As he aged, his doctor prescribed that he carry a cane. One of his trademarks is he did just that. Most often, he simply carried it. He also waved it at crowds and even conducted the Tabernacle Choir. As a tribute to him along the route from his funeral at the Conference Center to his burial in the Salt Lake City Cemetary on Feb. 2, crowds of people endeared to him lined the streets. They waved not only white handkerchiefs, out of respect, but also canes.

After Hinckley was ordained as the Church’s president on March 12, 1995, the following month in General Conference, he said, “It is time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all our relationships, in other words, to become more Christ-like.”

His words left no doubt as to the direction he felt the Church should go. At another time, he urged members to serve their brothers and sisters throughout the world in need. Members and the Church responded well.

Colorado averages 4,000 member volunteers a year for Colorado Cares Day projects with the purpose to celebrate Colorado’s statehood by serving in their communities. Locally, the Boulder Colorado Stake, a Church geographical division similar to a diocese in the Catholic Church, has approximately 3,000 members in Boulder, Broomfield, Erie, Lafayette, Louisville and Superior. Its projects so far have been to paint housing structures. The 2007 projects were in Louisville and Lafayette for the Boulder County Housing Authority.

Worldwide efforts include providing an Ethiopian porridge to those desperate for nutrition, wheelchairs for those with disabilities, hygiene kits for people in natural disasters like the tsunami that hit Indonesia, Thialand and Sri Lanka and work with national health organizations and ministries of health throughout the world to train birth attendants on neonatal resuscitation techniques. The list goes on and can be found on http://www.lds.org/humanitarianservices/

Hinckley was awe-inspiring with his worldwide travel to meet people and their needs. He accomplished much more than can be discussed here while he was president of the Church of more than 13 million members and during his decades of Church service.

Thomas S. Monson, the 16th Church president who was announced in a Feb. 4 press conference, said his thinking is similar to Hinckley’s and that there would be no abrupt course change. He added the Church “would continue its commitment to promoting cooperation with people throughout the world and in bearing witness to the Lord and Our Savior Jesus Christ.”

No doubt, this new president and prophet will lead the Church well with constancy amid change.


Source: Published Feb. 10, 2008 Daily Camera


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