Tonight I was shocked and saddened at the news of President Gordon B. Hinckley passing. Although we understand this life is simply a passing moment, and that his joy must be all encompassing at the reunion of him and his beloved wife Marjorie, I will miss him. For nearly 13 years he led the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as our Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. I have a testimony that he was a chosen vessel of the Lord and his work on earth has opened many opportunities for expansion of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
President Hinckley has felt to me, as I am sure to many, a personal friend. I couldn't help but feel his love when he spoke as the Prophet. His sense of humor and gentle nature, combined with his strong character and conviction is to me, almost a reflection of our Father in Heaven. He will be greatly missed on earth.
I will be eternally grateful for his council in 2005 when he challenged the members of the church to read the Book of Mormon in it's entirety by the end of the year. I took that challenge and on December 29th, 2005 after finishing the last chapter of Moroni I realized that I had never before felt the spirit so strong, so physically in my life. I took that opportunity to pray, and ask Heavenly Father if I should marry Adam Turney. The answer to me came as clear as if I'd known all along and the blessings promised months earlier by our dear Prophet had come to pass.
I know that tonight, there is much rejoicing as eternal companions are being reunited. President Hinckley said: "Every man who truly loves a woman, and every woman who truly loves a man, hopes and dreams that their companionship will last forever...and that companionship will endure beyond life if the parties to the marriage live worthy of the promise." A wonderful example of a loving husband and companion to a wonderful, supportive wife.
May we all live our lives by his example, we are so blessed to be led by a Prophet, we were blessed with his life, we are blessed by the promise that there will be a successor and that the work of the Lord will carry on. In last October's conference, he left his testimony with us: "I leave with you my testimony of the truth of these things, and I invoke the blessings of heaven upon you. May the windows of heaven be opened and blessings showered upon you as the Lord has promised. Never forget that this was His promise and that He has the power and the capacity to see that it is fulfilled. I so pray as I leave my blessing and love with you in the sacred name of our Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."