Monday, January 28, 2008

The passing of a truely great person

As I wrote a few days ago, I was struck with the public sadness concerning the death of Heath Ledger. He was a good actor, but was a great person? I kept asking myself, what did this man do for others? What did he do that caused so many strangers to mourn for his loss?

And then yesterday everything was put into perspective (well at least for me it was). Gordon B. Hinkley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, died at the ripe old age of 97. Reading a detailed obituary in the Deseret Morning News (,5143,695247765,00.html), I was struck at the quality life that this man led. He spent most of his life in the service of others. He was a truly great leader. He became prophet not long after I got married, and so I think that I paid closer attention to his leadership as prophet than I did to any prophets that had led this church in my lifetime.

Thus, I think this explains my melancholy mood. I never met President Hinkley, but felt close to him. I admired the way he led, by example. He was an energetic man, who seemed to be everywhere. I knew that the Lord must have been giving him strength, as he was doing all of this in those years that most spend relaxing and playing golf. He made some policy changes that I really liked (namely the "raising the bar" standard for prospective missionaries).

I think that losing this prophet hurts me the most because he was always so visible, and it was rather sudden (as sudden it can be when a 97 year old dies).

I will miss him, but I am happy that he is with his lovely wife once more. God speed. I hope I am worthy to be with you in the next life.

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No, there is no anti-Israel Bias at the NY Times.

Recently the New York Times published an Op-Ed of a Palestinian who describes the deplorable conditions that he says exist in Israeli prison...