News Story

Thousands Pay Last Respects to President Hinckley

Over 40,000 members of the public have lined up at the Conference Center, as of 5:00PM today, to pay their last respects to Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Traveling from near and far, Latter-day Saints and other friends of the Church leader gathered to show their appreciation and affection for him.

One Utah woman said that “he looked as peaceful in death as he was in life.” Her friend noticed “a real spirit of reverence there.”

Speaking of the counsel that President Hinckley gave young people, including to “Be Smart,” “Be Clean” and “Be Prayerful,” one visitor said, “We’ll all remember the Six B’s and how important they are to the youth.”

Initially, a woman from North Salt Lake City was saddened as she participated in the viewing. “I felt loneliness, for him and for me. Then I thought about him being reunited with his wife, his mother and others. It was a very sweet setting.”

The public viewing continues this evening, 1 February, in the Conference Center, 60 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City. Officials will keep doors open until all visitors have had the opportunity to pay their respects.

Seating passes for President Hinckley’s funeral on Saturday, 2 February, will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to those standing in line at the north gate of Temple Square at 9 a.m. the morning of the funeral. Officials said that attendees should be in their seats no later than 10:15 a.m.

Overflow seating will be available in the Tabernacle and Assembly Hall on Temple Square, the Conference Center Theater, and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Passes are required for these venues as well and will be distributed when Conference Center seating is full.

The proceedings will be broadcast via satellite in 69 languages to over 6,000 Church buildings globally. Brigham Young University’s BYU Television will also broadcast the funeral internationally.   

President Hinckley’s family members have suggested that in lieu of flowers those who wish to send a memorial gift could donate to the Church’s perpetual education, humanitarian or missionary funds, or the Gordon B. Hinckley Chair of British Studies at the University of Utah.

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