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Head of Mormon church sums up his life

April 3, 2006 at 10:30 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, April 3 (UPI) -- Gordon Hinckley, the 95-year-old president of the Mormon Church, gave what could be heard as a valedictory message at a general conference in Salt Lake City.

Hinckley, departing from the usual practice of reflecting on the Gospel, instead looked back on his own life. He talked of his recent health problems and of how lonely he has been since the death of his wife, Marjorie, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

"The life of a president of the church is not his own," Hinckley said. "He has very little privacy and no secrets."

Hinckley has been one of the top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints for almost five decades. While he said no one should write his obituary yet, he also began his speech by recognizing that he is in the sunset period of life.

When he was 11, a Mormon patriarch told Hinckley his voice would be heard "by all nations." He said he thought the prophesy was fulfilled after he served as a missionary in Europe and Washington.

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