“President Hinckley Dedicates Buildings, Visits Members,” Ensign, Feb. 2003, 75–77
Continuing a busy season of travel, President Gordon B. Hinckley participated in the dedications of new buildings—one named in his honor—and visited with members in Pennsylvania and Utah.
Gordon B. Hinckley Building
President Hinckley was “flummoxed” at the recommendation that Brigham Young University—Idaho name a building after him. But he humbly accepted the honor at a dedicatory service for the new building held on 22 October 2002 in Rexburg, Idaho.
“The name of this building will be a constant reminder to me to live worthy of the trust that you have placed in me,” President Hinckley said during the dedicatory services of the new Gordon B. Hinckley Building.
It was a fitting tribute to the Church President, who has been instrumental in the school’s recent transition from a junior college known as Ricks College to a university offering four-year degrees.
“It is a comfortable fit,” said President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “for President Hinckley is a man of prayer, a man of fasting, a man of faith, a man of learning, a man of glory, a man of order, a man of God.”
President Monson was a keynote speaker during the dedication and offered the dedicatory prayer. Other Church and university leaders were also in attendance. The 54,000-square-foot (5,000-square-meter) building provides meeting space for Sunday worship services as well as faculty offices and academic classrooms.
Salt Lake Institute Building
No education can be considered complete without attention to spiritual matters, said President Hinckley at the dedication of a new institute building that serves almost 6,000 students in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“It is important that we qualify ourselves in those matters which will assist us in earning a living and in making contributions to the society in which we live,” President Hinckley told the large crowd gathered for the building’s dedication in October 2002. “But there is something of divinity in each of us. It is also important that this side of our nature be cultivated and given opportunity for expression.”
The new building, which is associated with the nearby University of Utah, provides classrooms, multipurpose rooms, chapels, and offices. Several Church and university leaders also attended the dedication, where President Hinckley offered the dedicatory prayer.
“The influence of what happens in this building will outlast the structure many times over in the lives of the students and their families,” said Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Commissioner of Church Education.
Approximately 350,000 students are currently enrolled in institute programs worldwide.
Huntsman Hall Dedication
President Hinckley joined United States vice president Dick Cheney and other Church and educational leaders in a private dedicatory ceremony on 25 October 2002 for an academic building named in honor of Elder Jon M. Huntsman, an Area Authority Seventy.
The eight-story building, part of the Wharton School of Business on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, was named Huntsman Hall in tribute to Elder Huntsman’s philanthropic contributions throughout his life.
A 1959 graduate of the Wharton School, Elder Huntsman began a small company 30 years ago that has grown into the largest privately held petrochemical and plastics business in the world.
But his success in the business world is only half the story, said President Hinckley at the ceremony. He told how Elder Huntsman as student body president at Palo Alto High School in California bought ties to honor the school custodians and how young Jon Huntsman befriended a sickly boy at his school. President Hinckley also shared an experience from the time when a young married Jon Huntsman took $50 from their tight budget and quietly left it in the mailbox of a widow in their ward.
“He did not become a philanthropist when he grew rich,” President Hinckley said. “He gave freely when he was poor.”
In his comments, Vice President Cheney said, “My highest hope for this building is that every person who goes through its doors will know something about the man for whom it is named, about his life of great accomplishment and purpose, and about the values that define it.”
Pleading with Church members to share the gospel, President Hinckley addressed some 5,000 Latter-day Saints in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in October 2002. He was accompanied by Elder David B. Haight and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
During the meeting, President Hinckley asked: “Can anyone doubt that through the Restoration of the gospel faith has increased in the earth? Your very presence here this night, my brothers and sisters, is an indication of the faith that you have, your willingness to subscribe to the covenants you have made, to undertake lives consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ, to walk in faith and righteousness and truth before Him. What a burden that places upon us, but also what a responsibility, and what a precious and priceless opportunity.”
President Hinckley noted: “The Church is in wonderful condition because of the faith of the people, and it has spread across the world. Today there are more Latter-day Saints outside of the United States than there are in the United States. … It is truly a remarkable thing, but it is not enough. We can do so much more.”
The Church President pondered on “why we are so reluctant” to share the gospel with friends. “I do not know why we are so fearful,” he said. “I do not know why we are so backward. We do not like to do it. Why? It is the greatest thing on earth. You know what you have. … Wouldn’t you like someone else to have that? I am sure you would. Let us reach out … and spread the gospel among our friends.”
Park City, Utah
President Hinckley used a rare free Sunday to stop in on a stake conference taking place in Park City, Utah, in October 2002. In his brief remarks, he urged the congregation to live worthy of their patriarchal blessings.
“Think of it,” President Hinckley said. “Here is a man who has been called and set apart to bless and ordain, as it were. He stands as a prophet to individuals. … Every member of the Church who is worthy may come and let him place his hands upon their head and give them a blessing.”
“You have in your midst a patriarch who has been called and chosen and set apart to bless you, my brothers and my sisters,” President Hinckley continued. “And if you have not received a patriarchal blessing, I urge you to square up and straighten up your lives and become worthy to receive a patriarchal blessing. Then go to your bishop so you might be properly recommended and make an appointment to see [the patriarch] and let him place his hands upon your head and by the power of the Spirit speak to you in an individual and wonderful way, my brothers and sisters.”
Church News contributed to this report.