Yesterday was our Southern States Stake Conference broadcast. President Monson presided and was the concluding speaker. His first comments were of President Hinckley and how he knew he would have loved to be there. Later, I commented on how tired President Monson looked.
This morning I found out why. Last night, President Hinckley passed away in his apartment, with his family at his bedside. It is no wonder President Monson seemed tired -- his heart was with his friend.
In 1995, the night before President Hinckley was sustained as Prophet, I spent the night on the sidewalk surrounding Temple Square with the hopes of being in the Tabernacle on that occasion. Although we froze and barely missed the general admission cutoff for the first General Conference session, I forged a special bond with President Hinckley that day as I stood to sustain him in that sacred calling.
While I never shook his hand, I have been in his presence several times and have witnessed his strong spirit. His energy rivaled that of my own, despite his almost 60 year seniority! I aspire to be like him, not only physically, but spiritually as well.
While I am sad in his passing, I know that his reunion was a sweet one. The years without his eternal companion and lifetime partner, Marjorie, have been lonely I am sure. A love like theirs is also an aspiration of mine.
Thank you, President Hinckley, for sharing your life with me.