Members of the LDS Church's First Presidency issued a public statement of condolence today to the family of Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., who died Monday of esophageal cancer.

"Rep. Lantos was a remarkable public servant, a beloved husband, father and grandfather," the statement said.

"As a member of the House of Representatives, and most recently as chairman of the important House Foreign Affairs Committee, he was a leading force for political and religious freedom throughout the world. As a Holocaust survivor, he exemplified great compassion for victims of political unrest and oppression.

"He opened many doors for humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, and leaves behind a legacy of family love and unity. We extend our deep sympathies and offer our prayers of comfort for his entire family."

The congressman spoke at Brigham Young University's April 2001 commencement ceremony, where he received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the school, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.