Gordon Hinckley
Live Web cast March 8, 2000, 1 p.m. ET

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Standing for Something

Gordon Hinckley
Five years ago, Gordon Hinckley quietly took over reigns of one of the world's major religions, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The church -- commonly but unofficially known as the Mormon religion -- has grown dramatically since its early days. As the church's 15th president, Hinckley now heads an organization with more than 10 million members, more than half of whom live outside the United States.

In recent years, Latter-Day Saints disaster-relief services have reached out to victims of hurricanes in Central America, famine in North Korea, genocide in Rwanda, and wars in the former Yugoslavia.

In addition to its work overseas, the church has also moved some of its outreach efforts onto the Internet. It maintains the largest collection of genealogical records in the world -- some two billion names. Last year the church launched FamilySearch.org, a Web site that distributes free genealogical software and allows users to search for information about their anscestors online. The site has proved hugely popular.

Hinckley's first job with the church was as the secretary of its public relations committee. He spent 20 years managing the Latter-Day Saints' image in the media.

Hinckley graduated from the University of Utah in 1932 with a degree in English. He and his wife, Marjorie, live in Salt Lake City. They have five children and 26 grandchildren.

Related Web Sites
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints