Sister Hinckley cited for service to humanity

The highest award of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists (AMCAP) - the Distinguished Service to Humanity Award - was presented April 2 to Sister Marjorie P. Hinckley.

"Her service has been in the form of steady, unwavering, and continual expressions of care, interest and support for all of her brothers and sisters in all areas of the world and at all levels of status," said AMCAP president Janet Scharman. She presented the award to Sister Hinckley at the association's annual spring meeting in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building."[Sister Hinckley] extends that warmth with equal comfort to a worker in the laundry room or to a clerk in a department store as she would to [a high government official] at a formal banquet.

"At a time when roles for women are becoming increasingly unclear, Sister Hinckley presents a model of how to be a woman of strength and character, valiant in her assignments, influencing in small ways which lead to tremendous impact. She has learned to balance the many demands of public life with her calling as a wife and mother."

In accepting the award, Sister Hinckley, wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley, said she is "married to a man who is a high achiever." She said she is happy and comfortable applauding the honors extended to him but feels uncomfortable when anything is focused on her.

"We each do the best we can," she said. "My best may not be as good as your best, but it's my best. The fact is that we know when we are doing our best and when we are not. If we are not doing our best, it leaves us with a gnawing hunger and frustration. But when we do our level best, we experience a peace."

She spoke of the opportunity that lies within the structure of the Church for individuals to discover the needs of others and perform acts of kindness. "How simple it is, really, to extend a kindness when we see the need," she said. "Jesus set the example on many occasions. The one that I love the most is when the scriptures said that He led the blind man out of the town. Just a small kindness, but a powerful example. God help us to recognize the opportunities we have."

After Sister Hinckley spoke, President Hinckley was invited to speak. "I think it's a wonderful thing that you have this association," he told AMCAP members. ". . . To have you of the Church in this professional field stand together and work together, and give strength and support and encouragement, one to another, in a world where you are constantly under attack, is a remarkable and wonderful thing. The Lord bless you in your great organization."

He encouraged them to "keep up the good work. Look after those who are in trouble and in need. There are so very many. I read on a billboard in Los Angeles some years ago the statement that there are more people in hospitals with mental problems than there are with physical problems. I don't know if that's so. . . . You know what to do for them; you give them encouragement and hope and interest in their lives. May you be blessed in all of your professional service. Stay together, work together and love and respect and appreciate one another is my prayer for each of you."

President Hinckley commended Allen E. Bergin, who was presented the Professional Liason Award. Dr. Bergin, past president of AMCAP, is professor and former director of both the clinical psychology doctoral program and the Values Institute at BYU. He was named recipient of the award last fall but was unable to attend the awards ceremony then.

The Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists is an international organization of counselors, psychotherapists and affiliated professionals whose common bond is adherence to the principles and standards of the Church. However, it is an independent professional organization that is not sponsored by the Church. Its members do not speak for the Church or its leaders. It was founded in 1975. It sponsors a two-day convention twice a year in Salt Lake City wherein training, research findings, innovative treatment efforts and multi-disciplinary presentations are provided.

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