Sunday, January 27, 2008

Goodbye, President Hinckley

A few minutes ago we got a phone call from Jim's sister Anna, who lives in Salt Lake City, to let us know President Hinckley passed away earlier this evening. (For my non-Mormon readers, Gordon B. Hinckley was the president and prophet for the Mormon church from 1995 to 2008.)

While I've never met him face-to-face, I have fond memories of him.

Shortly before Jim and I married, I got a job working in the motor pool at the Church headquarters in Salt Lake City. At the time I was living in Provo and going to school in Orem, but I could make better money in the city, so I commuted sixty miles on the bus every day. My favorite memory of the motor pool job was when President Hinckley's bodyguard showed up one cold January morning in my office, down on the lowest level of the underground parking garage.

During the winter months, I had a standing order to keep three of our SUVs on reserve for the members of the First Presidency, of which President Hinckley was the first counselor at the time, so the leaders could get around safely in the inclement driving conditions. Our three newest SUVs were all Ford Explorers, and the newest of those was a freshly minted dark green model. We also had a red one and a blue one, both a few years older but nicely maintained and perfectly serviceable. When weather got nasty, security staff for each of the First Presidency would come down and pick up their keys; I always handed them out without any thought as to who got which vehicle.

That particular morning, President Hinckley's bodyguard stood in front of my desk, smiled affably, and pleasantly asked me if the green Explorer was available. It was. He then explained (in the meekest manner imaginable) that while President Hinckley in no way expected preferential treatment, the green Explorer was his favorite, and he wondered if it would be possible to reserve it for him for the remainder of the winter.

It was, and I did.

Thank you for all your humility, humor, and hard work, President Hinckley. You will be missed.


aubrey said...

i remember you telling this story before. i am loving reading everyone's experiences in connection with president hinckley. thank you for sharing yours. what an amazing man he was.

No Cool Story said...

That totally made me tear up. Thanks for sharing it.
He was awesome.