PROVO The location seemed appropriate.
More than 400 BYU students gathered Saturday to view the LDS Church president's funeral in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center, a building filled with memories of the prophet's life and legacy.
He was the prophet of their youth.
"President Hinckley was the first prophet I identified with," said Cameron Stuart, a junior majoring in civil engineering. "It wasn't really until (he) became the prophet that I knew the prophet wasn't just a man. I heard him speak and felt a burning in my heart."
General authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who spoke at the service shared humorous and inspiring anecdotes of the life of the prophet and encouraged others to hold their memories close.
President Henry B. Eyring, who served as President Hinckley's second counselor, spoke of a time when the prophet taught him about teaching youths. He tapped President Eyring on his chest above his heart saying, "Why don't you work to get the gospel down in here."
"He loved the youth," President Erying said. "He knew their weaknesses and the opposition they were to face."
President Hinckley inspired youths of the church to be a little better and try a little harder despite the opposition they may face.
"When he spoke he made me feel like I could do anything," said Jillaire Jackson, a senior majoring in Business Management. "(I feel) an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what he has done for the church and the way he reached out to people."
While he spoke, Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy, called President Hinckley "the great communicator," remembering how the prophet reached out to the world through the media and the missionary program. People around the world felt a connection to President Hinckley because of his effort to go to them.
BYU freshman Wontak Kim, of South Korea, sang in the choir when the prophet visited Korea last year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the church in that country. Kim said he could "see the prophet really well" and couldn't stop crying.
"He was a prophet for all my life, since I was baptized," Kim said with tears in his eyes. "I feel like I'll miss everything about him. I just love him."
Daniel Jean, a BYU student from Haiti, shared the same sentiments, even though he never got to see the prophet in person.
Speaking of the first general conference he attended before his baptism eight years ago, he said, "I was interested to see him and listen to his voice. I was touched deeply by the prophet's message, and I started to love him."
President Hinckley will be remembered as "a prophet of the people," President Thomas S. Monson said.
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