President Hinckley & Relief Society

Since returning from my mission I have served in a variety of church callings. The calling I cherish more than any other was my position as an instructor in Relief Society (RS). Through this calling I was able to develop friendships with other women I believe will be eternal. I felt loved and nurtured in a way I don't in my current RS. Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy RS but somehow the atmosphere is different or maybe I'm different.

Last night I was able to attend the annual General RS broadcast at the Stake Center. Prior to the broadcast Brother and Sister Proctor shared a photo presentation on President Hinckley, (pictured in the photo left).

People often fault me for having a bad attitude about men and rightly so. However, there are a few men in this world I consider to be worthy of respect and admiration. My dad, is obviously one, President Hinckley and members of the church presidency are others.

Behind every good man is an equally exceptional woman. The Proctors also showed photos of Marjorie Hinckley, the prophet's wife, last night. Seeing this couple together, who have since been separated by death, was a poignant reminder of how powerful romantic love can be. Although I never had the privilege of seeing the prophet while serving on Temple Square, I did see his wife. We have a tradition on Temple Square for departing Sisters. The last evening as a missionary, Sisters are treated to what we refer to as "the last supper." For my MTC group this was a catered dinner, in a private conference room of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (JSMB). One of my fondest memories of the evening was the view. I have a thing for views. The conference room was surrounded by large glass windows, enabling one to see the Salt Lake Valley for miles. Seated at the table my view was of the Hinckley's apartment. Always trying to get a view of the prophet I looked for signs of activity through their apartment windows. Half-way through dinner I looked up and saw Marjorie Hinckley washing dishes. I have never forgotten that experience and continue to cherish it.

I'm not sure why but last night as I saw photo after photo of the prophet I was so touched. It has been some time since I've felt my heart soften. Since last night, I have tried to blame it on PMS or my sinus infection (I often become more emotional when I am PMSing or under the weather) but I think it was more than that. In fact, every time I see President Hinckley I feel peace. This is one reason I enjoy listening to him speak or learning about his life. Through his example he quietly inspires me to become a better person. I believe this is one of the many reasons people travel long distances or give up Saturday evening activities to see him. The Lord says, "By their fruits ye shall know them," and President Hinckley yields "good fruit." In forty weeks, under his leadership the Temple Department of the Church designed and constructed fifty temples. This is remarkable considering the time period it took to construct the first fifty. This is only one of his many accomplishments.

Following the presentation the Sisters were invited to enjoy refreshments (most Mormons love to eat) and mingle prior to the broadcast. During the fifteen minutes we had to grab food and our food storage bags, yes they handed out paper sacks filled with wheat, I was able to see and speak to Sisters I had not seen in a long time. One of these Sisters was pregnant. She is due in five weeks and is expected to have a baby girl. It was so nice to be among so many women who share beliefs similar to my own. Since moving to this area I have not felt like this was my home. Last night, however, I finally felt like I belong here; like I have roots here.

The theme of the broacast was entitled, "Encircled in the Arms of His love," taken from a passage in 2 Nephi (Book of Mormon). As each member of the RS Presidency spoke I felt an increase of love for the Lord and my fellow Sisters. I was reminded how much I truly appreciate this program and the way it continues to bless me with good friends.

The broadcast's concluding speaker was President Hinckley. It was the perfect conclusion to the evening. His comments to the women of the church were tender and inspiring as they always are. I am so thankful there are some men out there who truly comprehend the importance of women and their contribution to society. I wish more women, inside and outside, the Church were treated with the respect and appreciation they deserve. I hope I can meet a man one day who admires and respects me like President Hinckley loved and cherished his wife. At 95, the prophet continues to bless the lives of members throughout the world. Is it any wonder we sing, "We Thank the Oh God for a Prophet."

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