Home Opinion Looking back, moving ahead

Looking back, moving ahead

Many cell phone networks were busy the evening of Sunday, Jan. 27, as countless BYU-Idaho students called and text-messaged friends and family to see if they’d heard the news: The prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, had died.

Though not completely unexpected, the death of the 15th president saddened many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And why not? Especially for students at BYU-I, it marked the end of an era. He was president of the Church for the greater part of most students’ lives.

While the structure of the Church remains the same, his death still equals change — change in the First Presidency, change in the Quorum of the Twelve and change in the overall dynamic of Church leadership.

But the Church will continue to be blessed with the succession in the presidency. The keys of the kingdom didn’t die with President Hinckley — they remain on the earth with President Thomas S. Monson.

Of President Spencer W. Kimball’s succession to the First Presidency, Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “As the last heartbeat of President Lee ceased, the mantle of leadership passed to President Kimball, whose next heartbeat was that of the living oracle and presiding authority of God on earth. From that moment the Church continued under the direction of President Kimball.”

So it was that Sunday night as President Hinckley passed away. One chapter of the Church’s history was over, but a brand new one opened instantly.

The Rexburg Idaho Temple will be dedicated next Sunday, Feb. 10. While President Hinckley won’t be at the dedication, the same power and authority he held will dedicate the temple. And the opening of the Rexburg Temple is a perfect beginning to the next chapter of Church history in Rexburg.

“I predict that [the spirituality level in the community] will be increased beyond what you’ve already experienced,” said Rexburg Temple President Val Christensen. “The students participating here in the temple and also just looking at the temple — observing it, walking by it — it’s a constant reminder of eternal values and, therefore, very important to use as a guideline in your life.”

With this change in the Church, it’s natural to mourn. But it’s also OK to move on — to follow President Hinckley’s example and continue forward.

In his words, things have never been better.

And the best is yet to come.

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