our beloved church president, prophet and leader passed away on sunday night. his chronicles and words have filled many pages, even books. i remember him as an energetic and optimistic leader with a great sense of humor. you can find a tribute to him by BYU (my alma mater) here and i found this video on a friend's blog. i love hearing his voice in the first video; he's been the prophet for 12 years, and that voice has stirred me many a time in the interim. the second video hits me because there is a picture of gordon b. hinckley sitting alone by two empty chairs. our church is led by the first presidency which consists of a prophet and his two counselors. president hinckley had for many years served as a counselor in the first presidency before he was president of our church. there was a time when the current prophet and other counselor were incapictated due to illness and the burden of the first presidency rested squarely on president hinckley's shoulders. i remember president hinckley speaking of this as a lonely time for him. i guess it hit me when i saw that picture of what a burden leading a church of 12 million people must be. but president hinckley never seemed burdened. he was filled with life, faith and love and directed that to all who were near him or heard his voice. i'm grateful for his example of a life well-lived.
"I speak of the need for a little more effort, a little more self-discipline, a little more consecrated effort in the direction of excellence in our lives. Let us all try to stand a little taller, rise a little higher, be a little better." -Gordon B. Hinckley