The words of a future prophet changed my life

by Lynne Taylor

Gordon B. Hinckley

As part of the 150th anniversary of the Church in the UK in the late 1980s, a regional conference was held in the Guildhall in Portsmouth, Hampshire.  I had only been in the Church for about a year.

It was the most amazing conference I have ever been to; it had a real impact on me.  What has stuck with me is the one speaker who people didn’t know was coming to talk, and that was President Hinckley.  He was, at the time, 1st Counsellor in the First Presidency, and he had his lovely wife with him.  I found the experience overwhelming; he spoke as though he was speaking to us individually and not as a group.  He was so open about his thoughts and feelings, particularly about the prospect of becoming the President of the Church, if he lived that long.  

I can’t remember much of what else he said, but I know that at the time I took it on board, and I changed how I lived. I wanted to be of the elect of whom he spoke, and be ready for the Second Coming, of which he also spoke.  At the time he thought that the world was getting very close to that event.  It was his opinion that the Second Coming might happen in his lifetime.  Of course, we now know that has not been the case, but since President Hinckley died the world has increasingly moved towards it.

His words have stuck with me, and they are still important.  He was saying I need to be ever ready and prepared for that time, because I will not be given warning and the event will happen suddenly.  I continue to work at it and live as righteous a life as I can.  I cannot judge myself as the Lord will judge me, but as long as I try, I know I can stand out in the crowd.