I've meant to say something since about 8:30 Sunday night about President Hinckley's passing. It caught me off guard, though I can't say it was completely unexpected. I'm very saddened by it.
President Hinckley was such a voice of reason in the church. I saw him put crowds of tens of thousands at ease. I saw him make all those people yearn to be better. He filled them with love. He filled me with love.
He had been the prophet through most of my spiritually conscious life; when I resented the church, feared the church, loved the church, put my hopes in the church, and then most recently sort of passively drifted away from the church...floating alongside somewhere. He was always there, but even when I took issue with the church and the messes it seemed to make of peoples' lives sometimes, I always loved Gordon B. Hinckley and still do.
He was a man of integrity, and not just in the way that politicians throw that word around. He knew what integrity was and lived it.
He knew how to enjoy life. He was wise and funny. He knew how to live and he knew all those little secrets about how to treat his fellow man.
I always thought of him as this sort of Yoda for the church, steadily hobbling along full of purpose with that little cane of his. He was a constant like the north star he always talked about, and he always stepped in at just the right moment, when it was needed the most, with something profound and stirring and loving and true.
The world has lost a spiritual giant.