Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More thoughts on Hinckley

The Latter-day Saints I talked to yesterday were sad to see their leader, Gordon B. Hinckley, go, but not distraught in anyway. A couple remarked with joy that he would be with his wife again (the church teaches that families are families for eternity).

Hinckley's experience as a missionary led him to higher authority in the church. He realized the need for better material to distribute to non-believers and he made a career of promoting the church and its teachings in an easy to understand manner.

"He’s always been a great missionary and encouraged us to spread the word about the gospel of Christ and invited anyone who wanted to hear the message about Christ," Shreveport Stake President Brent Merrill said.

It reminded me a little bit of Pope John Paul II. The late pope was widely travelled and a great advocate for evangelism who, even as an elderly man, connected with youth.

Jeffrey Loftin, a Shreveport native now studying at BYU saw Hinckley speak a couple of times. He told me about some of his journal entries after seeing the president.

"At the top it says – I’ve had a constant burning in my chest for 10 minutes," Loftin said.

To Loftin, that was confirmation from the Holy Spirit that Hinckley was a man of God and was speaking God's truth.

"Every time I have written specific impressions from the Spirit. It’s a deep knowledge – every word he says he’s saying for a reason. He’s genuine and open and honest."

Funeral services for Hinckley have been set for 10 a.m. Saturday in Salt Lake City. They will be broadcast on BYU television, which is apparently available on many Sattelite carriers.


Anonymous said...

President Hinckley has done so much for so many. I honor him as a prophet, and friend. He specially loved the youth of the church. He has been a super optimistic in the face of some of the most troubling times this world has ever faced.

I found a site honoring him, where anyone can go to and leave a message in tribute to his memory.

The site is:

Diane Haag said...

Thanks for the recommendation. Here's another site from Beliefnet, which has places to share your thoughts and prayers:


John said...


Do you believe the Mormon doctrine to be truth?

John said...

I guess my question was inappropriate?

Diane Haag said...


I hadn't responded because I hadn't seen your comment until now.

No, I do not believe all Mormon doctrine to be true. I do have a great deal of respect for their committment to faith and family, and the church members I know are some of the most genuine people I know.

John said...

Sorry for being impatient and thanks for the response.

[I can say the following because I think I have a decent enough understanding about the Mormom religion.]

When I see someone post something like this in their blog, I just assume they agree that what's said in it is true, quotes and all.

I view your post as promoting what this man believes, things I know don't agree with "mainstream" Christianity (which doesn't bother me since I don't, either. *smile*) and certainly don't agree with the word of God.

So, that is why I asked.

Diane Haag said...

You bring up an interesting point, and maybe I should clarify.

I view this blog as an extension of my reporting, meaning I hope to give voice to the variety of religious traditions in the community. Some of them are "mainstream Christianity," and some aren't Christian at all.

So when I post something like this, I was just trying to flesh out the story that ran in the paper with some quotes that had to be left out for space.

John said...

Understood. Thanks.

I don't know if I put my name on it or not, but I also gave similar question in your "15 faiths under one roof" entry. I don't recall seeing that in the paper, but the question is still valid because of such a wide variety of beliefs mentioned in that blog entry: "who's going to be telling the truth?"

Surely between 15 faiths there will be some issues that one thinks is important (read: salvational) that another does not. Is it scriptural to join togther just for the sake of unity, even though the man next to me says I don't do so-and-so so I'm not saved? Has ecumenicalism become a four-letter word in God's eyes?

Where's truth among 15 different faiths? Surely they can't all be right, can they?