Teachings of Presidents
Historical Summary

“Historical Summary,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley (2016)

“Historical Summary,” Teachings: Gordon B. Hinckley

Historical Summary

The following chronology provides a brief overview of major events in the life of President Gordon B. Hinckley.

June 23, 1910

Born to Bryant S. Hinckley and Ada Bitner Hinckley in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Attends a stake priesthood meeting with his father and gains a testimony of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith.


Graduates from the University of Utah, having studied English, journalism, and ancient languages.

1933 to 1935

Serves as a full-time missionary in the European Mission, spending the entire time in England.

1935 to 1943

Works as executive secretary of the Church’s Radio, Publicity, and Mission Literature Committee.


Called to the Sunday School general board.

April 29, 1937

Marries Marjorie Pay in the Salt Lake Temple.

1943 to 1945

Works as an assistant superintendent for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Denver, Colorado.

1945 to 1958

Returns to Church employment; in 1951 begins overseeing the day-to-day operations of the newly formed Missionary Department.

1953 to 1955

Under the direction of President David O. McKay, recommends and oversees the production of the temple endowment on film to accommodate multiple languages.

October 28, 1956

Called to serve as president of the East Mill Creek Stake.

April 6, 1958

Sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve.

October 5, 1961

Ordained an Apostle and set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve by President David O. McKay.

July 23, 1981

Called to serve as a counselor in the First Presidency, to assist President Spencer W. Kimball and Presidents Marion G. Romney and N. Eldon Tanner.

December 2, 1982

Called to serve as the Second Counselor to President Kimball.

November 10, 1985

Called to serve as the First Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson.

June 5, 1994

Called to serve as the First Counselor to President Howard W. Hunter.

March 3, 1995

Becomes the senior Apostle at the death of President Hunter.

March 12, 1995

Set apart as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

September 23, 1995

Issues “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” during the general Relief Society meeting.

February 1996

The number of Church members outside the United States exceeds the number of Church members inside the United States.

April 7, 1996

Appears on the United States television program 60 Minutes.

May 26, 1996

Dedicates the Hong Kong China Temple, the first of 77 temples that were dedicated during his presidency, 63 of which he dedicated himself.

April 5, 1997

Organizes three new Quorums of Seventy.

October 4, 1997

Announces a plan for smaller temples to be built throughout the world.

January 1, 2000

With his fellow Apostles in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, publishes “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.”

October 1, 2000

Dedicates the Boston Massachusetts Temple, the 100th temple in operation.

October 8, 2000

Dedicates the Conference Center.

March 31, 2001

Announces the creation of the Perpetual Education Fund.

February 8, 2002

Welcomes visitors from around the world to Salt Lake City for the Winter Olympics.

June 27, 2002

Dedicates the Nauvoo Illinois Temple on the 158th anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

January 11, 2003

Presides over the first worldwide leadership training broadcast.

February 8, 2003

Speaks to one million Primary children via satellite broadcast to celebrate the Primary’s 125th anniversary.

April 6, 2004

Mourns the death of his wife, Marjorie.

June 23, 2004

Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given in the United States.

June 26, 2007

Announces that Church membership has surpassed 13 million and that the one-millionth missionary has served since the Church was organized.

January 27, 2008

Dies at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah.