Our dear prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away yesterday.
My sister, Mel, lives in Utah and emailed our family to let us know.
It was the last thing I expected and I immediately felt overwhelmed with disbelief and sadness.
What a wonderful man, who will be missed by so many!
Oh how grateful I am for him and the life he led.
And how grateful I am for the testimony I have that he was a true prophet of God.
I gained that precious testimony in this very building…..
The Seattle Institute of Religion.
I took a class here back when I was a student at the University of Washington.
The class was held downstairs and through this hall with framed pictures of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency hanging prominently.
At that time, I didn’t have a testimony of Pres. Hinckley as God’s true prophet on the earth.
But I wanted to know if he was.
Or if he wasn’t.
So every time I went to the class, I stopped and looked at Pres. Hinckley’s picture on the wall.
I looked and silently asked Heavenly Father, “Is he really your prophet?”
I searched Pres. Hinckley’s eyes.
Then I would look at the other men.
All of their eyes shone with peaceful assurance that I didn’t feel.
This went on for weeks until one morning when I left the classroom after everyone was gone to have my solitary journey down the hall of pictures.
As always, I paused to look at Pres. Hinckley’s picture.
And suddenly, after weeks of asking and years of wondering, Heavenly Father finally answered my question.
“He is my prophet.”
It came clearly and unexpectedly to my heart and mind.
With undeniable power that made my heart pound and my whole body fill with warmth.
And I knew.
[I took these pictures not long afterwards, so I could share my experience with my children someday and be able to say, “This is where I stood the day I got my testimony.” I had forgotten about them until last night as I was thinking about Pres. Hinckley and how much he meant to me. Now I’m so glad I took them…..]