January 12, 2018

Death of a Prophet

The leader of my church, whom we regard as God's prophet and mouthpiece on earth, passed away recently, and today was his funeral. I listened to the hour-long service online, and then I felt compelled to stand outside, waiting for his motorcade to pass. (Luckily, I work about a block away from the motorcade's route, so it was really easy to just pop out and stand on the street.)

I feel a deep love for him. I got to meet him twice, both very brief interactions. But I could feel, both in person, and any time I heard him speak at a conference, that this man truly was the prophet of God. The first time, I was 16 (I remember I was wearing a peasant blouse I loved!), and he had spoken at our regional conference at the Dee Events Center. The second time, I was a college freshman at the U. It was Christmas break (December 2002: yikes!!), and I was shopping with my family at Nordstrom. We were in the men's shoe department, when lo and behold, who should also be there but President Monson!

We were so excited to talk to him, and it was even more exciting to get to take a photo with him. I pulled out my trusty disposable camera (I seriously never left home without it!), and some nice stranger took our photo. (My dad thinks he's hilarious and pretended to be the shoe salesman helping Pres. Monson try on a pair of dress shoes. Smh, Dad. Smh.)

President monson

One thing that was really lovely about being on South Temple today is that the Cathedral of the Madeleine, which was located on the motorcade's route, rang their bells today from the time the funeral ended until after the hearse had passed. Such a lovely sign of comraderie and co-mourning from our fellow Christians. It was also really wonderful to see other people lined up on South Temple to bid our prophet goodbye. I stood next to a young mom with her four kids (all of whom appeared to be age 5 or younger!) and marveled that she had brought them out on a crisp January afternoon to see our prophet pass by. I teared up a little at the two ladies who brought white handkerchiefs and waved them as President Monson's hearse drove past. I ended up being 20 minutes late to a work meeting, but I'm grateful I had the opportunity to say goodbye. I'm a little puzzled, having not known President Monson personally beyond two passing encounters, by how tender my heart felt today. I loved our prophet and am grateful to know the line of prophets will not end with him. How truly blessed we are!

Here are some more photos from today:

waiting for President Monson's motorcade
(Note the mom of four behind me)
President and Sister Uchtdorf ride by
President and Sister Uchtdorf

President Monson <3
Our prophet <3 (aptly, in front of the Thomas S. Monson Building, which houses the Gardner Policy Institute)
God be with you 'til we meet again, dear President Monson. ­čĺŚ

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