Like most if not all of you who read my blog, I felt a little down when I learned of the passing of President Hinckley. Only a little, though: my faith in life after death, his age, and some other factors tempered any sad feelings that his death brought on. He was a great man, and I will miss him (though I probably won't realize how much I miss him until the next General Conference).
I believe, in life or death, prophets are deserving of great honor and respect. That being said, some of you may be interested in this clip from The Colbert Report, the best show on TV prior to the writers' strike (when I posted this the video I'm referring to was 2nd in the queue).
Be forewarned: many church members are likely to find this quite irreverent, and most would at least describe it as disrespectful. But it's funny, and in a roundabout way is a tribute to Pres. Hinckley's memory.
I'm of the opinion that, in a general sense, there's no such thing as bad publicity for the church. Some individuals might be put off investigating by jokes or rumors or lies or whatever they hear about the church, but overall anything that draws attention to the church, its leaders and its doctrine will ultimately lead more people to hear the gospel taught accurately and with the Spirit, and have a legitimate opportunity to accept it.
The fact that the church is prominent enough to be satired, and that people know enough about it that they don't just have to resort to jokes about polygamy or the Osmonds, is quite encouraging to me, clear proof that we are rising out of obscurity and darkness.
Yes, I probably feel an obligation to defend this clip since it comes from my favorite show; but it's also a testament to how successful Pres. Hinckley was in making the church more prominent in mainstream American media and culture.
Oh, and I bet he would've got chuckled after hearing the joke about his age.