My Dear Reader,
This was a humble man. He lived his life and did a job that changed the world, yet never drew attention to himself. When you saw him on television speaking or having an interview, he acted just like your average grandpa. You'd never know that he was the Lord's mouthpiece to the world until you listened to his words and felt your soul light up. I had a friend who saw him once in person while she was in a parking lot. She waved to him from a ways away, and when she caught his eye, she saw him turn around behind himself to see if she was waving to someone behind him. When you're the honored leader of more than twelve million, I would have guessed that you'd assume that people were always waving at you. President Hinckley didn't. It was a point in time that was relatively private—there were no cameras, no photographers, only my friend, President Hinckley, and his small entourage. I'm sure there are many famous people who would have assumed the best, but not the Prophet. I think that small act can speak volumes about the character of a man.
President Hinckley's humility was also addressed by a Church leader of mine who knows him personally. My leader said that the Mormon hymn "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," which we often sing when we are in the presence of the prophet, is seen differently by President Hinckley. Instead of thinking that the song was about him, which would definitely be implied by the lyrics and the occasion, President Hinckley always thought that it was a song that actually honored the first prophet of the Restoration: Joseph Smith. Any man who can listen to thousands of people sing a song about the position he holds without getting a big head over it is a man that people can follow.
There aren't really people out there who are like President Hinckley, especially outside of Church leadership. Most people are looking to promote themselves any way they can (because, after all, attention is practically equal to love, right?), by everything from outright bragging to name-dropping, but I feel really blessed that I could have, as my leader, a man who was more worried about me and my peers than he was about his image or popularity. It takes a great strength and wisdom to look beyond the self, but it was something that President Hinckley did daily. I only hope that one day that I can be as strong.
Regards, best wishes, and love,