In 1995, after many years in leadership posts in what is often called the Mormon church, Hinckley became president. He was the 15th person to hold that post.
The president of the church is held in special regard by the members, who see him as a prophet of God "in the same way they revered the prophets of scripture," according to material posted on the church's Web site.
Hinckley underwent cancer surgery in 2006, but church spokeswoman Kim Farah said last night that "the cause [of his death] was incident to his age."
Despite his age, Farah said, Hinckley had remained active and was coming in to the office as recently as last week.
The church said it did not expect a successor to be formally chosen until after Hinckley's funeral "within the next few days."
Please don't misunderstand my intentions, I don't mean to sound like I'm throwing dirt on the man's grave. He was a man who thought he knew God--he was, in fact, a man who wanted to know God--but was led down the wrong path and followed a false gospel. He was very very devoted to the one he thought was God, very devoted to what he believed to be the "true church", the "restored" church. He was a man who was deeply sincere in his beliefs. Sincerity, however, can be misguided.
Jehovah's Witnesses are sincere in their beliefs.
Muslims are sincere in their beliefs.
Hindus are sincere in their beliefs.
Mormons are sincere in their beliefs.
Sincerity does not draw one closer to God if one is sincerely following a false gospel. I mourn for the Hinckley family, I pray God will give them strength to get through their grief. I will also pray that God will show them the truth, that they may know the true God.