I know as a mother that we are not supposed to have favourite children - I have four sons and they are all my favorites - not really. They each think that they are my favourite - I have told them so on various occasions.
President Spencer W. Kimball was my favourite prophet. Yes, really. He led the Church when I was baptised on January 9, 1982. He wrestled for a long time with the issue of blacks and the priestood, and ultimately received the revelation on June 7, 1978. I was reading his autobiography in a hospital in Germany, on bedrest awaiting the birth of my firstborn son, Ryan David Daley. I was moved and touched by the humility of this man. I wanted to write him a letter telling him how much I appreciated his spirit, efforts, forward thinking manner and a myriad of other things. I never sent the letter - he died shortly after Ryan was born.
President Gordon B. Hinckley became my favourite prophet after Spencer W. Kimball. I know that there were a couple of others in between, but these two men spoke to me from their hearts and what they said resonated with me on a deeply personal and intimate level. Maybe I loved President Hinckley because he served a mission to Great Britain - personal bias - maybe I loved him because he was a master communicator, as I am becoming - and because he had an incredible vision to heal the world. I loved hearing his jokes at General Conference and other places where he was always in demand as an amazing orator. He was able to do the great things he did, including raising awareness about the mission of the LDS church, increased temple building, increased humanitarian efforts because he had a grand view.
Some years ago - I attended a German Stake Conference and heard Thomas Monson speak for the first time. His voice resonated through the cavernous building. I do not remember everything he said that day (too bad I don't keep a journal faithfully), but I do recall he stated that there would be a temple built in East Germany - that might not sound remarkable to some, but it was to those in the congregation, including my friends the Huelsewische's and Erdhutters - at least one of whom had family in East Germany - this was years before the wall came down. The shock/awe/surprise was evidenced by the audible gasp in the congregation. Elder Monson continued to indicate that the reason a temple would be built in East Germany before West Germany was because the saints there were more faithful.
If I have the succession thing right, Elder Thomas Monson will be the next Prophet/leader of the LDS Church.
I think that some more exciting times are ahead.
I am glad that Gordon B. Hinckley is reunited with his sweet wife and companion, whom I also had the fortune to hear speak during my years in Utah.
I shall light a candle in their honor this week. I will say a few prayers too.