Elder Richard Gordon Hinckley of the First Quorum of the Seventy says his feelings about his call as a member of the Seventy are not that different from how he felt as a shy deacon assigned to collect fast offerings or as a brand-new mission president.
“Collecting fast offerings was intimidating. But it was a great experience,” he says. “Being called as a mission president is something you just can’t totally prepare for. I felt like the boat was going to swamp for the first few months. But then it was wonderful.”
Now as he approaches his new calling, Elder Hinckley says he feels overwhelmed and inadequate. But he has learned some things from his earlier service. “You just don’t say no to these callings. You learn that when you say yes, the Lord is going to help you learn and grow. And along the way you will be able to make some small contribution.”
Elder Hinckley was born, raised, and continues to reside in Salt Lake City. As a mission president, he presided over the Utah Salt Lake City Mission.
With an economics degree from the University of Utah and an MBA from Stanford University in California, Elder Hinckley has been an executive or equity partner or served on advisory boards for a number of regional and national business ventures and organizations. He served a full-time mission in Germany, and he has traveled extensively.
As a mission president, he presided over missionaries from 42 nations and 46 states in the United States. “We felt like it was an international mission,” he says. Of that experience he says, “It gave me a tremendous confidence in the future of this Church.”
Elder Hinckley has also served as a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple, stake president, counselor in two stake presidencies, and bishop twice. He was born on May 2, 1941, to Gordon Bitner and Marjorie Pay Hinckley. He and his wife, Jane Freed Hinckley, were married on July 28, 1967, in the Salt Lake Temple and have four children.