The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement Thursday regarding the death of Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

"We greatly sorrow over the passing of our beloved associate and friend, Elder Neal Ash Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. His life has been most extraordinary. He has excelled in the very many endeavors in which he has been engaged and particularly in his devoted service since his call to the apostleship in 1981.

"His incisive mind, his tremendous teaching abilities and his remarkable leadership have greatly assisted in moving forward the work of the church in all the world.

"Our hearts reach out to his beloved companion, Colleen, and other family members. We pray the Lord will comfort and sustain them at this difficult time."