Editor's note: We asked readers to share how President Gordon B. Hinckley, who passed away Sunday, influenced their lives. Here is a sampling of the responses we received:
My husband and I were not active in the church when I heard (President Hinckley) was going to speak at a regional conference in Evanston, Wyo. I told my husband I was going with or without him, and to my surprise, he came with me. We left home early and got to Evanston in a thick fog. Neither one of us knew where the high school was where President Hinckley was to speak. We were in the general area when we saw two men in white shirts and ties drive by. Sure enough, we followed them and got to the high school. We stood in line for some time in the cold and the fog, and we got to sit in the gym where he would speak, instead of an overflow room. ...
He and his wife both spoke, and they were so charming and full of love. It was amazing. When he started to walk off the stage, the congregation spontaneously broke out singing "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," and my tears could not be held back. Since then, my husband and I have been very active in the church and have gone through the temple. We love President Hinckley. Our most sincere sympathy goes out to his family and close associates.
I saw President Hinckley for the first time at the dedication of the Guadalajara, Mexico, Temple. I was in the last dedicatory session in the celestial room. It was a great blessing to be before a prophet of God. I could truly feel he was a man of God. I greatly appreciate him and I thank him for the revelation on smaller temples, since they now can bless us no matter where we are.
I proposed to my wife the day (President Hinckley) was sustained as the president of the church. I'll never forget the feeling I had as I sat in my fiancee's apartment, freshly decorated with balloons and tulips from my surprise April Fools' day proposal, and sustained him while watching conference together.
As I sat and contemplated our future, I knew that following his counsel would lead our little soon-to-be family through whatever was ahead.
Throughout our marriage, as we moved from college to professional school, internships and residencies, adding children along the way, his counsel and wisdom have always been a beacon, empowering us to plead for and receive direction from the Lord in the matters important for our family.
Thank you, President Hinckley.
While serving as Fiji Suva Mission president from 1999-2002, Fiji experienced a political coup on May 19, 2000, that resulted in the evacuation of all missionaries from the Suva side to the Nadi side for their safety. Shortly after the coup, President Hinckley called inquiring about the safety of the missionaries and members. With the scheduled dedication of the Suva, Fiji, Temple the next month and declaration of martial law prohibiting large gatherings, President Hinckley stated that it was not important for the members to see him with only one private dedicatory session within the temple allowed, but what was most important was that the temple be dedicated so the work could commence for those beyond the veil.
Roy G. Bauer
I am a church member since April 30, 1967, in Brazil.
I was born and baptized in the state of Paran in a small branch at that time.
I served my full-time mission from 1975 to 1977 at Porto Alegre RS Brazil Mission under President Lynn A. Sorensen and President Jason G. Souza.
I had the privilege to meet personally President Hinckley many times. The first time was in 1970, when our stake was organized and President Hinckley and President Spencer W. Kimball were together in that memorial conference at Pinheiros Sao Paulo, Brazil, chapel.
It is just impossible to remember President Hinckley without thinking about his teachings, testimony, love, kindness and, of course, authority.
I am sure he is at the Lord's right side.
The church's growth in this past 40 years, as I have seen, has been something impossible to explain. No one church could not be like this unless it is true.
My love and best wishes to all general authorities.
Elias N. Munhoz
Thank you so much for this space to share my feeling and show my gratitude.
My heartfelt condolence to all the family members as well as the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I still recollect the day I met President Hinckley in New Delhi, India, when he was on a world tour in 2005 .
Looking into his eyes, I knew he was a prophet of God. His voice confirmed the message that God would have us hear. I know he is a wonderful leader, an exemplar and man of vision to lead and build.
Being part of this church for 14 years, I know that he has led the church the way the Lord would want the church to grow. We love President Hinckley. We will miss him, but his word and his example will live in our life.
His legacy will continue, and God be with you till we meet again, President Hinckley.
I'm writing from Ecuador. There is no other man like President Hinckley. His love, patience and smile were marvelous. We are very sad. We love our beloved prophet.
More than anything, I remember President Hinckley's love of the youths. My siblings and I were able to meet President Hinckley twice once when he visited my grandparents while they were serving a mission at Hill Cummorah, and the second time at my grandfather's funeral. In both cases, President and Sister Hinckley made an effort to speak to all of us and to find out how we were doing. I specifically remember my brother (then age 3) scaring Sister Hinckley with a wooden snake and her wonderful sense of humor. Fifteen years later, at my grandfather's funeral, President Hinckley tapped the chest of each young man displaying an Eagle Scout pin and congratulated them on the effort. His spirit was felt by everyone, and he was truly a wonderful leader and example to Saints around the world.
My most personal memory of President Hinckley other than him signing my mission call was this. I remember when he came and spoke to my mission. I was touched by his willingness to open up about what he believed his "failures" were. The lasting impression I felt to my very soul was how much he loved us. I never got to meet him personally, but I could feel his love as if it were a tangible thing. It was a living, breathing entity.
President Gordon B. Hinckley was a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are very blessed to have prophets, seers and revelators on the Earth today. ... President Hinckley served this great calling with dignity, integrity and faith.
Tai Ping Ho'o
I moved to Salt Lake City from Wisconsin 12 years ago, and President Hinckley is the only living prophet I've known. One Sunday morning, about seven years ago, we took friends from Wisconsin to see the live broadcast of "Music and the Spoken Word." We wanted them to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in person, but we received an even greater gift. That particular Sunday was on or near President Hinckley's birthday. So halfway through the broadcast, he came out on stage and gave everyone in the Tabernacle a surprise present of his presence on his birthday! He was like that ... always giving.
I also will always remember how he "knighted" President Henry B. Eyring with his cane. What a wonderful sense of humor President Hinckley had!
I just returned from the open house at the beautiful Rexburg Temple. We asked who would do the upcoming dedication service, and the young missionary said, "Oh, I hope it will be President Hinckley!" I feel certain that he will be there!