So darlings, I have two items of compelling news. Firstly, President Hinckley the world wide leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died. Secondly, and I would argue more importantly, I have been grotesquely injured after slipping on ice. To add insult to injury, I was wearing flats! Chances are it probably wouldn’t have happened if I was wearing my usual four-inch heels; I could have avoided injury completely had I just fallen forward and landed on my boobs. But ooohhh no! I went flying backwards and broke my left elbow and my right wrist. So I am in tragically unfashionable casts for the next six weeks or so, and then onto several months of rehab. No, not the Amy Winehouse, Lindsey Lohan, Mel Gibson kind of rehab, the other kind. The kind where they make you squeeze foam stress balls and pull giant rubber bands until your joints and tendons turn into hamburger. Ick! I am soooo not looking forward to that, let me tell you.
Anyway pumpkins, back to ex-President Hinckley. As much as I dislike some of the LDS Church’s machinations, I actually liked Gordo. The man was a real little charmer, and boy howdy was he media savvy. I only met him once face to face, when Mr. Ridge and I were invited to a Christmas reception and invitation-only concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was lovely, super festive, and I wore a tie, clean underwear and everything! Although how I passed the background security check and was allowed to park under Temple Square still disturbs me to this day.
I watched KSL Channel 5’s biography on President Hinckley which aired about 45 seconds after he died. Ummm, not to sound ghoulish petals, but I’m thinking the Hinckley biopic has probably been in the tape machine with the pause button down for the last few years. I must admit though, it was really well-done and beautifully chronicled – a remarkable life. Of the past few presidents, Hinckley seemed to understand that the LDS Church is a global religion that was seeing its greatest missionary successes in third world and developing nations. In contrast, I think Spencer Kimball (my least favorite pres. by far) had to get vaccinations if he ventured past Payson. President Hinckley’s push to localize the church and adapt it to regional differences was, frankly, inspired. Way too many years ago I remember going into the Church College in New Zealand with its overly showy monogrammed carpet and glossy basketball courts and being appalled by the sheer Americanized imperialism of the place. It’s no wonder missionaries around the world are abducted or confused for CIA operatives.
On a brighter note, the idea of dotting the world with accessible, convenient mini-temples where people can actually use them was genius. They are everywhere, just like 7-11s but with better landscaping, better lighting and there are a heck of a whole lot more of them!
Now the big question is who will be the next president? In keeping with the media-aware nature of the church I think it needs to be done as a reality show where you have challenges, give immunity and eliminate members of the Quorum of the Twelve via text messaging. When the last three make it to the semi-finals I just have two words, darlings: DANCE-OFF. Ciao, babies!