President Gordon B. Hinckley left "footprints on the sands of time" that will continue to influence the progress of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for years to come, said Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy.
Among lasting imprints of President Hinckley's long service to the LDS Church, Elder Tingey said during his funeral today, were his great skills as a communicator. "He opened the doors to the world's media and defined the church to a worldwide audience. Commencing as a young returned missionary, more than 70 years ago, he pioneered the use of filmstrips, movies, colored pictures, pamphlets and missionary literature to tell the story of our church. These same techniques, continually being improved, are still used today."
The "Hinckley era" also saw unparalleled missionary work throughout the world, Elder Tingey said. Almost a third of those who are members today were baptized since President Hinckley became the leader of the church.
But perhaps the most recognizable and eternal of his 'footprints' "... is the construction of approximately 75 new temples since he became our president. Every ordinance performed in these temples becomes a witness to the prophetic foresight and wisdom of President Hinckley to bring temples closer to the people."
President Hinckley's warm sense of humor will continue to buoy church members, Elder Tingey said. He recalled an occasion when members of the church's ranks of general authorities met, dressed in traditional dark suits, white shirts and conservative ties. "President Hinckley, with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, said, 'You all look like a bunch of penguins."'
The construction of the Conference Center, expansion of the church education system and establishment of the Quorums of the Seventy as one of the presiding quorums were all significant advances to meet the needs of a growing church, Elder Tingey said.Most personal of the "footprints" was the late prophet's love of people, he said. "Probably each of us in this vast worldwide audience has a special memory of President Hinckley. ... Thank you for letting us know that you loved us. We are better because of you."