President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remembered Pope John Paul II during both general sessions of the faith's 175th Annual General Conference on Saturday.
In a brief preface to his opening address, during the pontiff's final hours, President Hinckley said, "I extend to our Catholic neighbors and friends our heartfelt sympathy at this time of great sorrow. Pope John Paul II has worked tirelessly to lift the burdens of the poor, to speak fearlessly on behalf of moral values and human dignity. He will be greatly missed."
Word came that the pope had died shortly after noon Utah time, prompting President Hinckley to make the following statement when the afternoon session began:
"We join those throughout the world who mourn the passing of Pope John Paul II, an extraordinary man of faith, vision and intellect, whose courageous actions have touched the world in ways that will be felt for generations to come.
"The pope's voice remained firm in defense of freedom, family and Christianity. On matters of principle and morality he was uncompromising. On his compassion for the world's poor, he has been unwavering."