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Dedicated to bearing witness of Jesus Christ'

Following is the full text of President Gordon B. Hinckley's statement to the news media on March 13, 1995.

"Thank you for your presence this morning, and thank you for the manner in which you handled the passing of our beloved friend and leader, Howard W. Hunter. His death has deeply affected all of us. The memories of his great virtues will long linger with us.

"One cannot come to this sacred office without almost overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. Strengthened resolution to go forward comes from the knowledge that this is the work of God, that He is watching over it, that He will direct us in our efforts if we will be true and faithful, and that our accountability is to Him.

"With that assurance we reach out to our own people and to those of goodwill throughout the world, in that spirit of love and brotherhood which comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.

"I am grateful for these two men of faith and ability who serve with me as counselors, and to my stalwart and able brethren of the Council of the Twelve Apostles. There is total harmony among us, as there must be in this sacred work if it is to prosper.

"As the Church moves forward on its divinely appointed mission, I do not anticipate any dramatic change in course. Procedures and programs may be altered from time to time, but the doctrine remains constant. We are dedicated, as have been those before us, to teaching the gospel of peace, to the promotion of civility and mutual respect among people everywhere, to bearing witness to the living reality of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the practice of His teachings in our daily lives.

"We are concerned with the quality of family life within so many homes. The home is the seed bed of all true virtue. If proper values are not learned in the home, they are not likely to be learned anywhere.

"We are grateful for the faith and the strength of the people of this Church. They now number some 9 million in approximately 150 nations and political entities. The membership is growing consistently and solidly. We are confident that this will continue as the Church stands as an anchor of truth in a world of shifting values and standards.

"We are particularly proud of our youth. I think we have never had a stronger generation of young men and women than we have today. For the most part they are true to the faith of their forebears. Surrounded by forces that would pull them down and tremendous pressures to pull them away from time-tested virtues, they are going forward with constructive lives, nurturing themselves both intellectually and spiritually. We have no fears or doubts concerning the future of this work.

"If we have offended any, we apologize. Our only desire is to cultivate a spirit of mercy and kindness, of understanding and healing. We seek to follow the practice of our Lord who `went about doing good.' "

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