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Leader of Mormon Church dies

  |   Jan. 28, 2008 at 2:05 AM
SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Gordon Hinckley, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has died at age 97.

Hinckley died in Salt Lake City, Utah, late Sunday, church officials said in a statement.

Considered a prophet by church members, Hinckley had served as president since March of 1995.

During his 46 years in senior church leadership positions, including 13 as president, Hinckley traveled to 60 countries and dedicated 95 of the church's 124 temples, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which becomes church's governing body upon the death of the president, will choose a successor after Hinckley's funeral. No arrangements have been announced.

"His life was a true testament of service, and he had an abiding love for others," U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and fellow Mormon, said in a statement.

"His wit, wisdom, and exemplary leadership will be missed by not only members of our faith, but by people of all faiths throughout the world," Hatch added.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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