Summarized by Kent Larsen
Loving Birthday Tribute: Gordon B. Hinckley thanks his flock, basks in affection
Salt Lake Tribune 24Jun00 N2
By Peggy Fletcher Stack and Hilary Groutage: Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- During the celebration held at the LDS Church's
Conference Center Friday night, LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley
sought modestly to deflect some of the attention from himself, saying, "This
celebration is not about me. This is my gift to the community." And the
evening was the kind of celebration that Hinckley might choose, music from
earlier in his life and appearances by friends and famous performers alike.
The evening featured performances by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the newly
formed Orchestra at Temple Square, well-known Utah singer Robert Peterson,
USU professor Mike Christiansen and a host of others. Utah-based singer
Michael Ballam and his daughter Vanessa Ballam performed, as did JoAnn and
Jerold Ottley. Metropolitan Opera diva Ariel Bybee performed, as did Tenor
Stanford Olsen and pop-singer Gladys Knight.
Knight in particular pleased the crowd, and Hinckley introduced her, saying
that she had changed a little after joining the LDS Church, "She once told
me she enjoyed everything about the church except its music. But when I said
that last night, she changed her tune a little bit. And we believe in the
law of repentance."
Hinckley had also attended a dress rehearsal for the event on Thursday
evening, inviting many more friends and community leaders, including
religious leaders of other denominations in Salt Lake City, and business and
political leaders in Utah and regionally. Attending were NAACP Salt Lake
Branch President Jeanetta Williams and Tri-State NAACP President Edward
Lewis. Intermountain Health Care Vice President Pamela Atkinson, Sinclair
Oil owners Earl and Carol Holding, former Utah Governor Norm Bangerter,
First Security Bank Chairman Spencer Eccles, and a host of other Utah and
Salt Lake dignitaries.
Party Guest List Included Religious and Utah Notables
Salt Lake Tribune 24Jun00 A1
By Judy Magid: Salt Lake Tribune