There is nothing that hasn't already been said by so many, but I want to add my own thoughts about President Hinkley and the influence he has had on me individually and my family. He was loved by so many people.
My favorite memory of President Hinkley was when he spoke at my graduation commencement exercises at the University of Utah in 1998. I knew that there was no other person on the earth that had the authority and wisdom as he did, and I always knew how lucky I was to be in attendance. I was a little anxious to see how some of the more liberal students would respond, but he was amazing. He had all of the graduates feeling strong and able, ready to go out and do as much good as we could in the world. All of us. He recieved a standing ovation and the mesage he left was one of congratulations, good job, now get out there and forget yourself and make a difference for others. I will always remember the way he made an entire arena full of people feel uplifted and empowered.
He was a dynamic, highly respected and accomplished leader, but I have been amazed to hear that what people are remembering most is the way they felt he affected them personally and made them want to be better. He made me want to be a better person. A more responsible and courageous person. He proved the value of a good sense of humor and helped us to have a brighter outlook on life. He was enthusiastic and encouraging, even in the midst of a troubled world. He has inspired us to live life with integrity and to be more forgiving, accepting and loving. I loved his ability to engage otheres, his passion for learning and for good books, and his humility. I admired his adoration of his wife and their love and devotion.
President Hinkley was tremendous and has left an impression upon my life that will continue to affect the decisions I make and how I want to live. I will miss hearing his wit and articulation and his vibrancy as he would speak during conference. I only wish that my children could have grown up with him a little longer. He was a remarkable man who expects us to all live up to our own greatness. What an incredible opportunity and blessing to have been able to have him as our prophet. We will miss him!