Inspired by the Marathon mommy I took the challenge of dedicating my run yesterday to this great prophet.
I was hoping to have some of his talks on my ipod to listen to but, I wasn't able to put it all together so I decided I would run with just my thoughts, on what influence his life had on mine.
I generally work things out in my mind when I'm running, it is a good way of organizing my thoughts and finding clarity. I find that truly my spirit and body are more of a whole when they are both in the process of exercising. Yesterday was no exception, and it certainly was a difficult run for me. I did 7.68 miles and it was through our very snowy town. I was laready tired from a spinning class and although none of you really want to hear it I was having some cramps...Ugh. Needless to say it was a good/hard run. I was greatfu lto have the challenge to keep me going. (Rick did a 16mi run and called it a short run....amazing!)
It was my first run over 6 miles since November and I had taught a spinning class yesterday morning. In my spinning class were three missionaries (I was grateful for my more mellow selection of music) and it was interesting seeing the youthful energy of some of God's army. They certainly stood out as unique (one of them especially loved one of the songs and couldn't help dancing around a bit on his bike) but they all had this great determination and enthusiasm that showed through.
This was one of the MANY characteristics of President Hinckley that I enjoyed and aspired to acquire. He had this ability to motivate and inspire all in his presence.
As the miles rolled by and my thoughts traversed through various times in my life where his influence inspired and humbled me.
Here is a little list of some of the more memorable moments...
I recall being in a regional conference youth choir when I was a freshman in High school. At this time President Hinckley was still a counselor in the first presidency, but I remember sitting and listening to his words. Knowing that the words he spoke to me were a message of truth.
This would carry on with me. I remember him encouraging us to strive to do better and to be better, a message that would carry on throughout his presidency.
I also remember getting my tattoo on my leg. Yes, I already knew it was NOT the right thing to do. However, I will note that it was a very innocent tattoo, and was by no means a mark of rebellion, merely a best friend tattoo between me and my cousin Lisa. Shortly thereafter he gave his talk about respecting our bodies and that we should treat them like a temple. This is where I ate a good dose of humble pie...(not the first time and probably not the last.)
I have many many times regretted this decision and will forever have it as a mark as a weakness in decision making. Especially when my kids, primary children of young women ask me about it.
I have fond memories of the BOM challenge. I remember sitting (very pregnant with Poppy) on the floor of the primary room, doing a read-athon with my young women. I loved seeing the love and devotion that each of those girls put into his challenge. I especially loved seeing the mark of accomplishment that beamed on their faces when they achieved their goal.
I clearly remember the encouraging B's that he gave. Today in primary the children still remembered and could recall all six of the B's. This is impressive especially when I realized that most of them were not even alive, or very old when he gave them to the youth of our church.
I recall his sweet humble spirit that could charm even the hardest of men. I loved seeing him in the public sphere, taking on the lions of the press. He knew who he was and what his purpose in this life was, and they could not shake his character. I try to share the gospel freely with others just as he would have done. It is such an important part of my life, that if I refrain from sharing deny others the same joy and love I experience in knowing who I am, where I am going, and that I don't have to do it alone.
There are many other thoughts that came to me while I was running, this is just a few that I'll share. I'm so grateful for a wonderful prophet who guides our church and gives us the modern day direction that we need to return to our father in heaven.
I know that I have a purpose here in this life. I'm certain it won't always be easy and at times I may not fully understand that position, but I know that God loves me and that I have a Savior who has atoned for my sins and that I am a daughter of God. I grieve that Gordon B. Hinckley will no longer be in our presence, but rejoice that he is on the other side. I hope I can live my life with just as much clarity and purpose as he did.
Thanks for indulging me with so many fond memories and thoughts.