I was saddened to hear of the passing of away on Sunday, October 14, 2007 in Laguna Hills, California due Howard W. Hunter Mormonto causes incident to age. She was 93 years old.

Her husband served only briefly as our prophet, but we have many fond memories of him and his service. I was particularly touched by the quiet but steady guidance that he showed the members of the Church. During the general conference of the Church over which he presided in October 1994, he said, “Live with ever more attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ … Look to the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of your membership.” (Ensign, November 1994, p. 8) The simple yet powerful words touched the hearts of many.

Sister Hunter, in the meantime, was not at the front of the stage as her husband was. Yet she was there for him at all times, quietly there to support and sustain and help him. This was made more difficult by the fact that President Hunter’s health had been poor for quite some time. “I have wondered on occasion why my life has been spared,” President Hunter said during the same general conference. “But now I have set that question aside and ask only for the faith and prayers of the members of the Church so we can work together, I laboring with you, to fulfill God’s purpose in this season of our lives.” (Ensign, November 1994, p. 7)

Clearly the Lord had a work for President Hunter to do, and Sister Hunter was there with him throughout that time. He worked and traveled vigorously following his sustaining as prophet in June of 1994, but after the dedication of the Bountiful Temple in January 1995 he was hospitalized for exhaustion. After his release he continued his work from his apartment. When he died on March 3, Sister Hunter was at his side.

President and Sister Hunter were married in 1990, just four years before he became the prophet of the LDS Church. His first wife, Clara Jeffs, had died in 1983. Sister Hunter, herself a divorcee, was remembered at her funeral as someone who radiated happiness and always made others feel comfortable. Clearly she was as Esther of old who was sent to the kingdom “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) to carry out a noble purpose.

As members of the Church we give our deepest thanks to this remarkable woman who stood by and strengthened our beloved prophet.

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