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Gordon B. Hinckley

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Gorder B. Hinckley at age 78

President Gordon B. Hinckley is the fifteenth and current Prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon Church, as nonmembers know it.

Early Life

He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1910. He attended the University of Utah where he received a journalism degree. Afterwards he served a mission to Great Britain. When he returned from his mission, Gordon B. Hinckley accepted a job with the Church's public relations department. In 1937, he married Marjorie Pay. They were married for 67 years before her death in 2004.

Church Service

Gordon B. Hinckley has served as a General Authority in the Mormon Church since 1958. He became the prophet after the death of Howard W. Hunter in 1995. During his formal introduction as the Church's new president a reporter asked "'What will be your focus? What will be the theme of your administration?' Instinctively the prophet answered, 'Carry on. Yes. Our theme will be to carry on the great work which has been furthered by our predecessors.'" [1]

That is exactly what he has done; during his presidency Gordon B. Hinckley has made some impressive strides in furthering the work of his predecessors:

  • Church membership has grown from 9 million to over 12 million members as of 2004.
  • As of 2006, the number of Mormon temples worldwide has grown from 27 to 122, with 13 more announced or under construction. The reason is simple, President Hinckley said, "The sacred and important work that goes on in temples must be accelerated, and for this to happen, it is necessary that temples be taken closer to the people rather than having the people travel so far to temples… These temples are there to be used, and those who use them will reap a blessing of harmony in their lives. They will draw nearer unto the Lord, and He will draw nearer unto them." [2] There are now temples on every continent except Antarctica.
  • In 1995, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, which states the Church's beliefs and stand on the importance of and role of families, was announced and read.
  • Then in 2001, Gordon B. Hinckley, announced the Perpetual Education Fund, "a large endowment that provides loans to students in developing nations. It is funded entirely by donations, with the assumption that students will pay back into the fund when they are able." [3]
  • The Church's humanitarian efforts have grown. In 1994, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, "Some 98 million dollars in cash and in-kind assistance have been distributed in the past year."4 The White House recognized Gordon B. Hinckley's humanitarian efforts, and the Church's, when he received the Medal of Freedom in 2004. "The White House said that, as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1995, Hinckley has 'inspired millions and has led efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe.'" [5]
  • The prophet President Gordon B. Hinckley has traveled extensively, visiting members and meeting with dignitaries in many countries on all of the continents except Antarctica.

The Mormon prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, advocates values, which have made the United States great, values that are slipping away, such as: marriage between a man and woman, no abortion, no pre-marital sex and complete fidelity within marriage, no drugs, alcohol, or tobacco use, the importance of families, and other values. When asked if the best way to correct the slipping values was to ban certain things, the prophet replied, " The way to correct that is to teach. Joseph Smith the founder of this Church said ‘I teach the people correct principles and they govern themselves’. That’s the essence of the thing. Teach the principle and learn and let people govern themselves." 6]

Under the direction of President Gordon B. Hinckley the Mormon missionary program has changed its focus to member missionary work. Encouraging members to share the gospel message with their friends and neighbors. The prophet Gordon B. Hinckley teaches members, “Let us be more neighborly. Let us be kind. Let us be gracious to those in our midst who are not of our faith. Let us be helpful and generous and good. Let us be Latter-day Saints in the full and complete meaning of that word” [7]

Books by and about President Hinckley

  • Be Thou an Example
  • Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Volume 1:1995-1999
  • Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Volume 2:2000-2004
  • Faith: The Essence of True Religion
  • One Bright Shining Hope
  • Stand a Little Taller: Counsel and Inspiration for Each Day of the Year
  • Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes
  • Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley
  • Truth Restored
  • Way to Be! 9 Ways to Be Happy and Make Something of Your Life
  • Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of President Gordon B. Hinckley by Sheri L. Dew

Quotes from President Gordon B. Hinckley

  • "The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike."
("This Is the Work of the Master," Ensign, May 1995
  • “This church does not belong to its President. Its head is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name each of us has taken upon ourselves. We are all in this great endeavor together. We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory.... Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence.”
“This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995
  • "I urge our people everywhere, with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein. I am satisfied that every man or woman who goes to the temple in a spirit of sincerity and faith leaves the house of the Lord a better man or woman. There is need for constant improvement in all of our lives. There is need occasionally to leave the noise and the tumult of the world and step within the walls of a sacred house of God, there to feel His spirit in an environment of holiness and peace."
"Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship," Ensign, Nov. 1995
  • "Be grateful. Be smart. Be clean. Be true. Be humble. Be prayerful."
“A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” New Era, Jan. 2001
  • "Let us all try to stand a little taller, rise a little higher, be a little better. Make the extra effort. You will be happier."
“The Quest for Excellence,” Ensign, Sept. 1999


See also Mormon Should Mean "More Good", a conference talk by President Hinckley

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Notes

  1. Jeffrey R. Holland, “President Gordon B. Hinckley: Stalwart and Brave He Stands,” Ensign, June 1995, 2–3
  2. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rejoice in This Great Era of Temple Building,” Ensign, Nov. 1985, 53
  3. Gordon B. Hinckley: Wikipedia
  4. Gordon B. Hinckley, “I Was an Hungred, and Ye Gave Me Meat,” Ensign, May 2004, 58
  5. Gehrke, Robert. Hinckley to receive Medal of Freedom at the White House June 23, 2004. Salt Lake Tribune.
  6. Ransom, David, COMPASS INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY Aired: November 09, 1997 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  7. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, June 2004, 3

External Links


Presidents of the Mormon Church
Joseph Smith | Brigham Young | John Taylor | Wilford Woodruff | Lorenzo Snow | Joseph F. Smith | Heber J. Grant | George Albert Smith | David O. McKay | Joseph Fielding Smith | Harold B. Lee | Spencer W. Kimball | Ezra Taft Benson | Howard W. Hunter | Gordon B. Hinckley | Thomas S. Monson