Beloved prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley passed on to the next life on Sunday evening, January 27th, 2008. I met him once, when I was a teenager in England. He shook my hand briefly and smiled. I only remember that I felt power in that handshake.
This is one of my favorite pictures of President Hinckley, taken at BYU at the renaming of the stadium. It seems to me to capture the essence of a great man, but also a simple man. To me, he embodies a well-known phrase from the Book of Mormon, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." He loved his wife dearly. He raised his children in a humble home, worked hard his whole life, was educated and served faithfully in all capacities. He had a testimony of Jesus Christ the Savior, of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. He lived the gospel of Christ. He traveled the world, served the Church late into his nineties and moved the work of the Lord forward in an unprecedented manner. All of these small and simple things added up to one great life lived. I am grateful for his example, for his legacy, for his spirit that touched so many, that touched me.
I will miss you, President Hinckley, and hope to be able to shake your hand again one day.