Summarized by Kent Larsen
Suitland Maryland Open House Allows Neighbors To Knowing More About Mormons
Washington Post pgM14 9Feb00 D1
By Hamil R. Harris: Washington Post Staff Writer
CAMP SPRINGS, MARYLAND -- An open house last weekend at the Suitland
Stake Center of the LDS Church brought together a cross section of
religious and civic leaders and area residents, both to see the new $2
million Suitland building and for an interfaith forum on strengthening
It also gave LDS Church leaders a chance to express interest in working
with their neighbors on social issues, "We wanted to bring together the
interfaith community and see what problems that we can work on
together," said Suitland Stake President Spencer Blackburn.
The weekend open house included bluegrass and quartet gospel music, and
included exhibits about the LDS Church. Cole Goodwin, who chaired the
event, said more than 2,400 visitors got a chance to learn more about
the Church, hopefully dispelling some of the myths and misunderstandings
about LDS doctrine.
The Suitland Stake is one of 10 stakes in the Washington DC area.
The article gives a historical background of the LDS Church, emphasizing
the role that African Americans play, especially since the 1978
revelation allowing them to hold the priesthood.
African-American members included 20-year-old missionary Marvin Moore as
well as Daryl Nelson, president of the Capitol Heights Branch of the LDS
church. Moore is from St. Louis and is serving a mission for the Church
in the Washington DC area. He says he is often told, "I didn't know that
there were African American Mormons," and says, "I feel my role in the
church is very important."
The article also addresses the LDS Church's view of the family, and the
implications that this has for genealogical research and reviews the
custom of sending young men out as missionaries throughout the world.
One of the missionaries mentioned was Elder Scott Jones, who delayed his
football scholarship to BYU until after serving an LDS mission. "I chose
this life," said Jones. It is an honor to be a missionary."
The article touches on the LDS welfare program and its regional welfare
complex in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and on the Church's music program,
including the local Mormon Choir of Washington, which performed in the
new building on January 29th. The performance was highlighted by a
gospel quartet from the Community Baptist Church of Cedar Heights.