Favorite Quotes

  • No matter what, the gospel is still true.

  • Oh What A Beautiful Morning

  • I’m Doing Fantastic!

Ken Hinkson Eulogy

by Kent Hinkson (son)

Eulogy for Kenneth R. Hinkson


Teaching was one of Ken Hinkson’s first and last loves. At the age of 25, he was a University level teacher at the University of Utah. After a thirty-year intervening career as a computer programmer, he joined the faculty of Cypress College at age 54 and became a very popular computer science professor, retiring just four and a half years ago.

With teaching in mind, to you friends and family of Ken Hinkson, “I want to welcome you to Ken Hinkson’s final earthly class room. You will be his students and this eulogy will be your opportunity to be inspired and taught by master teacher Kenneth Royal Hinkson as we review his life.

The life of Ken Hinkson furnishes many powerful lessons for living. But, probably the most useful concept that Ken Hinkson can teach us is simply that – each of us has the power to choose to be happy regardless of our circumstances.

Lesson Regarding Happiness

All of Dad’s former students (as well as the students and teachers of nearby class rooms) know that Ken Hinkson often entered his Cypress College computer science classroom singing exuberantly, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Oh What a Beautiful Day, I’ve Got a Beautiful Feeling Everything’s Going My Way.”

At every opportunity, Ken Hinkson would share humorous stories, especially when he had captive audiences. He always laughed more at his stories than anyone else. Part of an email sent one week ago by the Dean of Cypress College Business Division informing the faculty of Dad’s death reads as follows: Ken was one of the most cheerful and positive persons that you would ever want to meet.  One of his claims to fame was his singing to his class, "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."  Students came to realize that he actually lived the words of this song. He always had some home spun (and self labeled "corny") jokes that students tolerated well.

The family and friends of Ken Hinkson know that whenever you asked Ken Hinkson, “How are you doing”, he would instantly reply, “Fantastic!” or ‘Super’. And as most of us in this audience have personally witnessed, before he was disabled from a stroke four and a half years ago, his answer to the “how are you doing” question would often be dramatized by his jumping into the air, clicking his heels and exclaiming “Fantastic”.

If you called on the phone to the Ken Hinkson house you often would hear, “Hello, you’ve reached the Hinkson Residence, the happiest place on earth next to Disneyland.”

Even up to just 24 hours before he died, knowing that he was dying, with his mortal body deprived of nearly all its life force by a devouring cancer, to those persons who still asked “how are you doing” he would respond in a voice that was barely audible with those same words he had employed his whole life, “Fantastic”.

We all know Ken or Dad or Buck or Brother or President Hinkson (however you knew him) was one of the most positive, cheerful, happy people we have ever known The amazing part of the upbeat Ken Hinkson attitude is that Dad did not have an easy or untroubled life. So, his circumstances could never be used to explain his happy attitude.

Dad’s early years were during the depression. Food was scarce. He often went to bed hungry. While most children went home to play after school, Dad began to work at the age of eight after school in order to help augment the family income. Soon after reaching adulthood, three of the most important women in his life, including his mother and sister and another very special woman in his life died within a five-year period of time. These significant losses were later followed by the deaths of two of his children, his father, father-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and many others. There were also many financial setbacks and two bouts with cancer beginning at the age of 41.

It is readily apparent that for Ken Hinkson, happiness was not a matter of having a life filled with favorable conditions. From that recognition we know that happiness is not a condition, but is rather a choice to be happy, which includes choosing how we will think and how we will act.

Dad seems to have adopted the idea long ago that choosing what thoughts he would think was a very wise thing to do. The Bible contains a verse that says as man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Dad used to quote this to me. He also quoted teachings from a 19th century philosopher named William James who suggested that if we act as though we already possess a particular characteristic, we will soon possess it in reality. He also quoted Mark Twain who said that the only sensible thing to do with unhappy thoughts is to put them out of our head and replace them with happy thoughts. Dad believed and put into practice these ideas.

I think we have all been amazed at the power that Dad’s ever renewing choice to be happy gave to him. The disappointments and setbacks Dad suffered were soon scuffed off. The deaths of family members caused him many tears. But, following the disappointments and tears, he chose to be happy. He whistled while he worked. He sang as he entered class. He chose to be fantastic and he spread happiness everywhere he went. Not even the devastation of cancer or the separation of death could take away his power to choose happy uplifting thoughts

Dad is every whit the equal of Apostle Paul who said, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content.”

The general formula for Dad’s happiness is to think and act positive and happy, and as the jingle says, accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

Many will say this that this is far too simple. And very frankly Ken Hinkson has always been too simple for me and for others who just know that life must be more complicated than that. But, for a quite a while I have been having a recurring thought… could Dad’s simple ways teach me how to be happier and how to do more good on earth than I am doing with my own ideas for living.

Could choosing to use positive words like Fantastic and Super, Handsome, Good-Looking, Witty and Charming when talking about yourself really be a significant part of his secret for guiding his thoughts toward personal happiness? Could telling humorous stories, singing enthusiastically and acting happy increase the personal joy he felt? I have come to believe so. I believe Ken Hinkson has shown us something very significant by the way he has lived.

Dad’s formula for happiness also included the scatter sunshine principle. You may know this principle from the LDS hymn that tells us to Scatter Sunshine Everywhere You Go.

Dad found that the quickest and the most reliable way to bring positive, happy thoughts into his mind was to attempt to get others to feel happy. That was a big part of his motivation behind greeting everyone positively, singing, smiling, and encouraging those around him to be happy.

Reaping what we sow is as true a principle as there is. I personally believe that’s why the Savior advises us in the New Testament to give a soft or kind answer and to agree with our adversary quickly, and in the Doctrine and Covenants to not criticize unless moved upon by the Holy Ghost, to use gentleness, patience, long-suffering, kindness, pure knowledge and love unfeigned in all our relations with ours. By sending out into the world the positive only… we actually create happiness within us.

So, if we want to be happy, I suggest the Ken Hinkson way of thinking happy thoughts, saying happy things, accentuating the positive and assisting those around you to be happy.

Dad practiced these concepts for my entire life and he got really good at it. I asked Dad once from where he obtained his happy attitude. He said it came from his mother, from the scriptures and good books. It may seem simple, but in reality, in your own pursuit of happiness, you may wish to ask yourself if your chosen way is better. After asking myself this question, I have decided to be more like Dad and eliminate negative thought and speech from my life and replace it with positive.


I want now to go through some of the historical facts about Ken Hinkson.

Kenneth Royal Hinkson was born on December 4, 1928 in the Salt Lake County Hospital. He lived through the Great Depression that began the following year. He grew up mostly in Los Angeles California. He grew up in a family where his Mom was the major breadwinner and parent figure while his father was gone looking for work. Dad recounts never knowing if he would have enough to eat each day and he was often hungry. He remembers the embarrassment of being sent home from elementary school because he didn’t have shoes to wear. He remembers waiting in long County lines to get food.

Dad had an older sister, LaVon and a younger brother Rollo. They bonded deeply during their growing up years and Dad has acutely missed his sister LaVon after she died in 1950.

Dad had the greatest affection for his angel mother whom he describes as having a wonderful, soul-filled, contagious laugh. He says that his mother was always kind to her children and to everyone and that she worked long hours as a scrubwoman to pay the rent and then if money remained to buy food and other necessities. Dad could never speak of his mother who died of pancreatic cancer in 1952 without his eyes tearing up.

Dad worked after school to help sustain his family beginning at a very early age. Dad can still remember giving to his mother the first twenty cents he earned (two weeks worth of profits from selling magazines). His mother bought a can of peas with that 20 cents. To this day, peas remind him of the pleasure it was to help his mother.

In his childhood he contracted many childhood diseases including Scarlet Fever, from which he nearly died and which did a small amount of damage to his heart valves, causing a constant, heart murmur, which drove his doctors nuts the rest of his life, but which he completely ignored.

By the time Dad reached his teenage years he was one of the most popular kids at school (and especially so with the girls) because of his cheerful and service oriented attitude and because he loved to dance. He began the practice of having monthly dances at his junior high school and was the junior high school student body vice president. At George Washington High School in Los Angeles, he was voted class representative in the 10th and 11th grades and became the student body president as a senior. Prior to being student body president, he was a Knight and President of the Keys Club. Both of these recognitions involved his activity in organized service organizations. He was even made mayor of Los Angeles for a day in recognition of his service. During four out of six semesters in high school he received straight A grades, the other two he got a B also. He earned every award his high school had to offer.

After High School, Dad attended Los Angeles City College and earned an associates degree in accounting before accepting a call to serve as a missionary in Sweden.


In 1949 Dad was called to serve a mission to Sweden. Dad made a decision to serve a mission for the Church when he was 12 years old. This was the result of listening to a motivational Sunday school lesson from a teacher whose name he has forgotten. At the age of 12, Dad didn’t know if he could actually go on a mission because of his family’s lack of funds but he decided if the Lord would call him, somehow he would go.

At the age of 20, Dad left on his mission to Sweden. His brother Rollo who was 13 months younger and who had just finished a stint in the army was also called to serve a mission to Sweden. They left for Sweden together. Their pictures were in the Church News Section of the Deseret News and the Saints in Sweden knew they were coming even before their boat landed. Dad served in Sweden for 33 months, which is nine months longer than LDS missionaries serve today. And, unlike today’s missionaries, Dad served during the summer months without purse or script, depending totally on the kindness of the Swedish people and the Lord’s guiding hand to sustain him and his companion. I have no doubt that part of his unquenchable faith and gratitude to people for their kindnesses came from these months of serving without purse or script and relying on the Lord and kind people. It’s also where he learned to love berries as often his meals were found in berry bushes.


Toward the end of his mission, the Korean War began to be well underway. Dad felt strongly that if he could serve God for three years, he could serve his country for two years, and so six days after returning from his mission, he enlisted in the army.

In the army, Dad exhibited the same positive outlook that characterized his entire life. He whistled while he worked and marched and ran happily with a 120-pound pack on his back. Originally, he was assigned to go directly to Korea to fight, but because he was fluent in another language (Swedish), he was assigned to learn Russian and become a translator. After a few months, however, his translating duties were interrupted when he was informed that his mother was dying of cancer. He was given leave to go home and be with his mother before she died. She died in his arms. When he returned to duty his orders were changed and because of his training as an accountant at Los Angeles City Collage, he was assigned as a paymaster for a Green Beret regiment of 7,000 troops training in North Carolina.

While stationed in North Carolina, Dad contracted a viral disease that attacked his eyes. The diagnosis was that he would become blind, but a priesthood blessing was given and the progress of the disease stopped. Throughout the rest of his life, however, whenever Dad ate chocolate, the virus reactivated with immediate deterioration of his eyesight. So, Dad chose to live the rest of his life without the pleasure of eating chocolate. But, as you can already guess… that made no difference to how happy he was.


Dad’s Army service ended in 1954. He moved to Salt Lake City and attended the University of Utah. He graduated in 1956 with a Bachelors degree in Economics and taught for a year at the University of Utah before going to work at the insurance firm of Stirling W. Sill.

Dad met Norma Black in Salt Lake, married her and purchased a home in Midvale, Utah. They stayed there for only three years and then Dad decided to seek a higher paying job in California. The emerging field of computer programming caught his attention and he landed a job as programmer at a company called Autonetics in Anaheim California. He worked there for a few years and then transferred to McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach where he worked for 20 years until Cypress College needed someone to teach computer programming. Dad was thrilled at the opportunity to teach fulltime. He became an adjunct instructor in 1982 at the age of 54 and then a permanent professor in 1988. He retired from Cypress College in 2003 at the age of 75. It is interesting that he never referred to teaching at Cypress College as work, but always said “I’m going to school”. He truly loved teaching at Cypress College. And according to the Cypress College Business Division Dean, Ken Hinkson was Cypress College’s “most unforgettable person on campus.


Dad was always grateful to have employment and he gave a more than full effort to his employers, but his real passion was centered on his family and the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

Dad claims eight children, 32 grandchildren and nine great grand children. Two of those children are deceased. Five children live nearby and one lives in Utah. About half the grand children live also live nearby.

The children and grandchildren that live nearby have always been part of weekends at the Ken and Norma Hinkson home and sometimes have lived at home for extended periods of time and therefore have been a part of daily life with Grandpa and Grandma. For those grandchildren living with Grandpa or visiting frequently, Grandpa means funny stories and jokes, hugs and kisses and constant reminders that Grandpa is handsome, charming, witty, intelligent and every other good attribute he can think of applying to himself. He almost always greets his grandchildren with salutations to them of Good-Looking, Gorgeous, Intelligent Young Man, etc.

For the remaining children and grandchildren not living nearby, Dad was a frequent phone caller. Each grandson or granddaughter going on a mission could count on a sizeable contribution to the missionary fund. It seems like he was always sending my family (because we lived in Utah) money or gifts that he thought we could use. No one ever questioned his love for us because his love and attention were constant. He welcomed new members of the family coming in through marriage fully and unequivocally. And grandchildren soon learned on occasion of visits with Grandpa, to be wary of his big slurpy kisses.

As much as children and grandchildren felt loved by Dad we knew that he had a totally special place in his heart for our Mother Norma. He wrote in his journal on July 9th, 2000. “I am surer than ever, that the Lord did, in fact, select my wife (Norma for me. We have had many struggles, financially, illness, and death, but never any struggles with our marriage. We have both served in many callings. My callings of leadership are a direct result of Norma’s support. Without her, I could never have served as a Bishop or Stake President or any other calling. She was and still is an angel sent from on high to nurture our children, grandchildren, many others and me. Norma is truly an angel. A note to all who read this: I have never called, Norma, Norma. It has always been ‘Sweetheart’ or occasionally ‘Babe’, Mom or Grandma.

Several important lessons are found in recounting Dad’s life history.

One of these is the importance of keeping promises to the Lord. Dad has often said that if he hadn’t kept his commitment to go on a mission, he doesn’t believe he would survived the Army… because if it were not for his learning to speak Swedish, he would have been sent to the Korean battlefront and likely have become a casualty, instead of being assigned to stay stateside and become an Army translator.

Another lesson is that if it hadn’t been for a Sunday School teacher presenting an inspiring lesson about serving the Lord as a missionary and individually committing her students to go on missions, he might not have gone on a mission. Dad explains that during the year particular year he decided to go on a mission he was finishing his Associates degree at Long Beach City College and was being heavily recruited to join the Air Force and become an Air Force Pilot. He wanted very much to fly and to enlist with that recruiter, but he kept seeing and hearing his Sunday School teacher and his promise to go on a mission.

Another lesson is the value of speaking to our loved ones with terms of endearment (which I now recognize is part of positive thinking and speaking). Dad never said, “Norma”. He said “Sweetheart”. There is a world of difference. I have vowed to learn from my Dad’s example and learn to speak with terms of endearment regardless of who might be listening and how “sweet” it might sound.

Hobbies and Talents:

I want to briefly mention my Dad’s hobbies and talents. Although Dad says that he doesn’t have hobbies, because he has always been too busy with earning a living and serving in the Church, the reality is that he planted a garden every year for nearly 30 years. He used to lecture at many summer Church Education System programs on how to be a successful gardener. As children, we were normally up to our eyeballs in the handiwork of my Dad’s gardens.

Dad also started a store in Anaheim focused on Survival Foods. It was called the Wheat Kernel. Having a year’s supply of food was not only a commandment from a living prophet, but it became a great interest to him. During Church Education circuits, he would normally lecture on both gardening and food storage. He used to teach people to have a garden, raise rabbits and fish and utilize a system of water barrels to maintain a supply of fresh water. He taught that you fed some of the garden produce to the rabbits; the rabbit pellets to the fish, and then you ate the fish and used the fish bones to fertilize the garden.

Dad was also an exciting speaker. He says he learned to speak at the George Washington High School assemblies. There were over 4,000 students there and he would speak to them in groups of 2,000. He has never been afraid to speak in public and was a highly sought out speaker for many occasions, including Church and Patriotic services.

Dad also loved to camp and hike. He has been on scores of hikes in the mountains, including 50 mile and other hikes in the Sierras. He also loved to take weekend excursions with his wife and children. Once a month Dad took us somewhere on a Super Saturday event. Most often it was camping. We also visited County Fairs, Santa’s Village, Solvang, etc. He bought a little trailer that we took with us on excursions to places like Yosemite and Anza Borrego desert.

Dad also liked to shoot. He had become a marksman in the army and we would take his army rifles and newly acquired 22 rifles and go into the desert and have fan shooting for hours.

He also liked to go fishing. Several times a year on Friday nights, we used to go to the Huntington Beach Pier at midnight and fish for Bonita. They put up a heck of a fight and we enjoyed eating all the fish we could catch.

Dad also enjoyed running. He couldn’t participate in athletics when in junior high and high school because he needed work after school. But, after overcoming cancer at the age of 41 he decided to run for his health. Although he was in terrible shape after his cancer surgeries, and couldn’t run once around a track, he gradually got into good enough shape to run several marathons and eventually logged over 10,000 miles of running.

Lesson Regarding Faith in God:

Now, I wish to switch to the topic of Dad’s faith in God.

There is no understanding of Ken Hinkson without understanding that he was a man of faith in God. He learned in his youth about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Fortunately, the messages stuck and as much as Dad ran his brain with happy thoughts, he also ran his brain with faithful thoughts. In the same fashion that he sought to spread happiness through his words and actions, he also delivered faith promoting words and stories to others.

Dad knew that it was not only that which comes out of a man that defiles him (such as anger, profanity, criticism or deceit), but is also that which comes out of a man that sanctifies him (such as gratitude, kindness, encouragement and service).

So, he has filled his life with affirmations of faith, including his famous and constantly repeated statement, “The Gospel Is True No Matter What”. He carried his patriarchal blessing with him always and read it often. He read the scriptures daily and thus had the words of eternal life springing up in him. There is a lesson here for those who want to have faith like Dad. What could possibly be more important than God’s words being in our brains every day?

In his 12th year of age, Dad internalized the phrase in 1 Nephi 3:7, that says, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he prepare a way that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth”. Dad learned that from the same Sunday school teacher who committed him to going on a mission.

Dad’s faith included saying YES to callings. He has had the following callings in the Church:

  • Deacons Quorum President
  • Building Fund and Ward Finance Co-Chairman
  • Sunday School teacher, numerous times
  • Scout Master
  • Explorer Adviser
  • Institutional Representative for Boy Scouts (this meant camping once a month with the Scouts and Explorer Scouts and helping put on Courts of Honor to recognize boys achievements in scouting)
  • Counselor in Elders Quorum Presidency, many times
  • Elders Quorum President, twice
  • Early Morning Seminary Teacher for four years
  • Ward Executive Secretary
  • Counselor in three Bishoprics and a Vietnamese Branch which he organized
  • High Counselor
  • Bishop, twice
  • Counselor in stake presidency
  • Stake President
  • Temple Ordinance Worker

In Dad’s personally written life history, this statement is found:

I have served in every call issued to me through out my life. I have a testimony of the reality of the Living God and His Son Jesus Christ. That’s why I have accepted all of the calls. It’s a privilege to serve.

Dad also obeyed the instruction of Church leaders to be a full-time missionary. He has given away numerous Books of Mormon and invited numerous friends to Church. Some of them are members of the Church today because of Dad. A favorite story of my brother Greg is that when he and Marty were on a hiking trip with Dad. They were on their way down from the mountain and Dad couldn’t keep the pace of his two robust sons and told Greg and Marty to go on ahead of them. But, after he didn’t get down the mountain for several hours. Greg went back looking for him. They found him right where they had left him, teaching the gospel to another hiker.


I wish to mention two more traits of my father. Actually, I need to mention three. My Uncle Rollo reminded me just a few minutes ago of one of these. Dad had a penchant for punctuality. He started meetings on time. His need to be punctual began in his youth. His brother Rollo recounts that on Sundays, if Rollo, who didn’t share this need to be punctual, wasn’t ready to leave on time for Church, Dad would drive Rollo’s car without him to Church.


My father was a kind man. A note sent to him by a member of the Stake reads as follows, “I have been released from many church callings over the years, but I was never given a release in such a thoughtful and caring manner as the one you gave me when you released me as Stake Young Women President. I left that calling feeling appreciated and blessed for my efforts.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity of working with you in the temple, and admire and respect your dedication to your callings, as you served as Stake President, as an ordinance worker, and as an example of a great human being.”

Dad was so kind hearted that he often had a difficult time disciplining his children. I remember once when I was ten years old he took me to the garage where I was to receive a licking for something I had done that was wrong. I was expecting a spanking. He told me to hold out my arm. Then he licked my arm and said… there I’ve given you a licking. He asked me to improve my behavior and told me he loved me.

Another time as a six or seven year old child, I picked up the idea of using the Lord’s name in vain. I was corrected once by Dad and explained the commandment that we not take the name of the Lord in vain. But, I did it again a few hours later. He took me into his bedroom, announced that this would hurt him more than it did me. He gave me a sound spanking on my bottom. As he finished the spanking and I looked at him, I saw that he was crying with me.

Part of Dad’s kindness included not speaking critically of others. I never heard him argue or demean my mother in any way. Nor did I ever hear him criticize or demean others.

Of himself he writes in his life history, “I have been an understanding, but firm Church leader. I have been kind to those in need of kindness, but unrelenting to those who have opposed our Father’s work. I am easy to work with unless attacked by evil forces.”

I need to speak about two other choices my Dad consistently made. He chose to be grateful. In his prayers, he would thank God for what I used to think were the oddest things. He would specifically thank God that for the ability of each of his children to walk and talk and that our fingers worked and that we could hear and speak and function normally. It seemed that he often spent more time thanking God than he did asking for blessings.

Another choice Dad made was to obey God’s commandments exactly. Sunday started at midnight Saturday. It used to annoy me to no end that when we were watching a two-feature movie at a drive-in, we would leave at midnight before the second show was done.

I would speak of other character traits and memories, but there is insufficient time for a hundredth of what could be said. And perhaps someday we can put them in a book.

I want to close with a recounting of an important spiritual odyssey that my Dad made during the final years of his life.

This odyssey began four and a half years ago when a stroke left him paralyzed on the left side of his body.

As mentioned, Dad always spoke in terms of faith. Throughout his life, he talked of God’s infinite power to bless his children and his desire to do so if we would have faith. He spoke of and demonstrated to us the power his faith in performing priesthood blessings. Dad was actually famous for giving priesthood blessings from which miracles would occur and people were healed. I myself am a beneficiary of his faith and priesthood power. I was at 11 years of age hit by a car along with my brother Wynn. Our femurs were broken and mine was crushed. The doctors told my parents that I would never walk normally again. Dad through the priesthood blessed me that I would walk without a limp and run. His blessing was fulfilled to the letter. Another time when my kitten Calico was chewed up by a dog, the veterinarian we took the kitten to, said, every bone in this kitten has been broken and there is internal damage. I will put it to sleep for you. I asked my mother to take the kitten and me back home. I asked my Dad to use his priesthood. This kitten that had had every bone it is body broken and its organs damaged supposedly beyond repair was blessed (just like it was a human being) by my Dad and was completely healed.

So, when Dad was paralyzed, he expected that God would help him receive a miracle, so that he could regain use of the left arm and leg. As virtually everyone here knows he spoke often of his faith to be healed. He waited patiently for that to happen, believing that his going to therapy and improving his nutrition were his parts do to in receiving that blessing.

As always he was cheerful and grateful for his blessings and positive of his healing outcome. He continually told himself and everyone that he would walk normally again.

But, after several years of not receiving the healing he desired, Dad had to deal with the refusal of God to bless him, as he wanted.

He took notice of the example of Jesus Christ who said to God his father as he prayed in Gethsemane, “not as I wilt, but as thou wilt”.

Dad began to speak and pray in terms of submission to His Heavenly Father’s. He did not want his disability. He asked in faith for it to be removed. But, he also told himself and his family and God that it made no difference to his trust and faith in God. He become like Job who declared, “though he slay me yet I will trust in Him”.

In retrospect, God had something more important to do with Dad than grant him the healing he desired. He was sanctifying Dad and blessing his children and grand children and all of us with a great example. We are all told that we need to submit ourselves to the will of Heavenly Father and trust in him with all of our hearts.

But, in addition, God was giving his wife and his children and grandchildren and friend an opportunity to know their husband and father and grandfather and friend in a different way these last four and a half years. Because of his disability he had much more time to sit and talk. Perhaps more importantly, his disability allowed us to serve him instead of the other way around.

We have come to recognize that our loving God and loving Savior used Dad’s disability to help our family learn service and to further sanctify Dad who learned firsthand how hard it can be to really believe that God knows what he is doing.

Rather than being the calamity that we so often suppose trials to be, trials and distress are loving evidences of God’s perfect love for us. He will not take away a trial when such a trial will help teach us compassion and prepare us for eternal life. We know that Dad constantly prayed for each one of us. We heard him do this in family prayers our entire life and we know he did so even more in his private prayers. I believe, Dad’s disability was the way that God answered his prayers in behalf of his family. His disability was especially for us.

Five days before he died, Dad was given a Priesthood Blessing under inspiration from God the opportunity and told that he would be permitted to specify an exact blessing he wished to receive and whatever he asked for would be granted. He was also told that he should seek inspiration through prayer to God as to what he should ask for and that this request would constitute a final earthly sanctification process.

Knowing Dad’s faith, I envisioned him asking for and receiving a complete healing and then living to the age of 120 as he had told us his entire life he would.

A few days after that blessing and a few days after learning that he had inoperable cancer, I asked Dad what he had chosen to ask God for. He quietly answered, I have asked for his will to be done, not mine; because whatever I wish won’t be the best thing for me. This was the capstone to dad’s final chapter of life on earth, of learning to submit his will completely to God’s will.

We then watched as his suffering in the dying process escalated. Dad simply submitted without any complaint.

A day or two later, I asked my Dad another question (this would be two days before he died). The question I had to ask was this. Dad, have you asked God why it is his will that you suffer like this. He nodded yes. And so I asked him to tell me why. He said “To Show You The Way”. I believe that Dad meant by the word You – me personally, plus Mom, all my brothers and sisters and all of our children (Dad’s grandchildren) and you his friends.

I believe that Showing Us the Way referred to is the way to live our lives.

Part of the purpose of life is to surrender our life to God and not put our own will above his. The scripture says in this regard that he who would save his life shall lose it and he that will lose his life will find it. Each of us needs to complete this spiritual odyssey and thoroughly surrender our will to his.

I want to close with my declaration that Dad is in the hands of God. On Saturday morning, we gave Dad another blessing during some pretty intense hours of suffering. Then we prayed fervently that his suffering would end. We asked for this blessing on his behalf, since Dad wouldn’t ask anything for himself. We requested his suffering could end.

At 8:20 in the morning, the living room in the Ken Hinkson home filled with a feeling of light and glory such as I have never felt before. Even his grandson, Kenny Hansen, said Mom there are angels all about us. Then Kenny said to his Mom Jesus is here.

I witness that little Kenny was right. Jesus was there. As I played on the piano a day later, the Hymn # 86, How Great Thou Art, there is a line that says, Then Christ Shall Come and Take Me Home. What Joy Shall Fill My Heart, I received a witness that the spiritual feeling that entered that room was the Savior, accompanied with numerous others, who came.

I can’t help but think of a visit Dad made with Mom a few years ago to us in Utah. As part of that visit, we went to Temple Square. In the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, we watched the magnificent film entitled One Fold and One Shepherd. The culmination of the movie is the coming of the Savior to the town Bountiful. There is a scene where a central figure in this story, Helam, who had been blinded while trying to save his son was being led to where the Savior was. Helam had believed the prophecies of the coming of the Savior his whole life and had been faithful. Now because he had become blind he could not see him. So, he asks his children to describe the Savior to him. They tell him He is Magnificent, everything he would imagine the Son of God to be. Then, in the last scene of the movie, the Savior comes, and says “Helam”, puts his hands on Helam and and restores his sight. Tears of joy flood from Helam’s eyes as he is acknowledge by his Savior. My Dad as he watched this scene, also burst into tears as this powerful scene of compassion from the Savior of mankind.

I testify that nine days ago, my Dad received this experience in reality. The Savior held out his hand to Dad, took him by the hand and said, “Ken, come ye blessed”.

He was taken by his Savior to His Heavenly Father. He is with those who have gone before him. His disabilities are gone. His calling and election have been made sure.

Of these things I witness.

And, now I close with these summarizations of what we can learn from Ken Hinkson.

  • We can choose to think happy, uplifting and faith promoting thoughts.
  • We can choose to express these thoughts to those around us.
  • We can in our way help others to be happy and faithful (whether by singing exuberantly, sharing humor or sharing other talents).
  • We can be kind and avoid criticizing.
  • We can be thankful.
  • We can choose to be entirely obedient.
  • We can submit ourselves to Heavenly Father’s will.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen


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