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For week ended January 23, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Summarized by Kent Larsen

West LA Ward Helps Sponsor Billboard
Los Angeles Times 23Jan00 D1
By Cory Fisher

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- An LDS ward in West Los Angeles has joined with three other faiths to rent a billboard promoting prayer. The billboard is located at the intersection of Santa Monica and Westwood boulevards and contains the simple phrase, "I think, therefore I pray."

Bishop W. Courtney McGregor said the billboard was something all four faiths could agree on, "We found that one of the many things we had in common was a belief in prayer," The other churches include the St. Paul the Apostle Church (Catholic), the Sinai Temple (Jewish) and the Islamic Center in Beverly Hills (Muslim). The billboard, which will include symbols representing each faith, costs about $10,000 a month.

The idea for the billboard started with meetings between Bishop McGregor and the Rev. Bill Edens of St. Paul's. They then approached the other faiths. The faiths managed to cooperate after agreeing to respect one another's beliefs, "We must learn to respect the unique gift that each religious tradition brings," Edens said. "We pledge to affirm each others' faiths while remaining deeply committed to our own, and to work together to build a better world."

They hope that the billboard will provoke though among commuters and pedestrians that see it. "We're hoping the sign will spark discussion and cause passers-by to think about their own spirituality," said Rabbi David Wolpe of the Sinai Temple. "We want people to see that others of their own denomination have joined with other denominations to share a common message."

But it may be clear enough for some people, "I don't know what it means," said passing pedestrian Tanya Evans.


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