The church web site is reporting that church President Gordon B. Hinckley will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from national President George W. Bush. President Hinckley writes that:
I will be deeply honored to receive this prestigious award from the President of the United States. I am profoundly grateful. In a larger sense, it recognizes and honors the Church which has given me so many opportunities and whose interests I have tried to serve. To the Church, to my associates, and to our people everywhere I extend my gratitude and with each of you share the honor of this recognition.
The White House press release notes:
Gordon B. Hinckley has been President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1995, and has served in church leadership since the 1930s. In those capacities, he has inspired millions and has led efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe.
Congratulations to President Hickley on receiving this award, which is the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. government. A total of thirteen new recipients of the award are designated in the press release, including Pope John Paul II, pundit Norman Podhoretz, actress Doris Day, golfer Arnold Palmer, and cosmetics designer Este Lauder.