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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 02, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 12Jul00

Summarized by Michael Nielsen

LDS Church's Growth Under Hinckley Noticed in Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution 1Jul00 N1
By Gayle White: Staff

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Gordon Hinckley, the self-effacing and well-respected leader of Mormonism, is determined to lead his church into the mainstream. His followers consider him the latest in a succession of prophets since Joseph Smith formed the church 170 years ago. During his tenure as prophet, Hinckley has set a course guiding the church into the spotlight.

Hinckley's 90th birthday was the occasion for a huge birthday party, with 21000 people well-wishers.The crowd enjoyed entertainment of Mormon convert Gladys Knight, as well as gentle humor from Hinckley himself.

Since becoming president five years ago, he has been in the spotlight, having been interviewed many times. Mike Wallace, of "60 Minutes", was so impressed with Hinckley that he wrote the introduction to Hinckley's recent best-seller, "Standing for Something." "My '60 Minutes' colleagues and I learned, from the time we spent with Gordon Hinckley and his wife, from his staff, and from other Mormons who talked to us, that this warm and thoughtful and decent and optimistic leader of the Mormon Church fully deserves the almost universal admiration that he gets," Wallace wrote.

The church has a distinctive past, with its history of polygamy and difficult relations with Blacks, but Hinckley's efforts to reach out to people have helped to move the church toward society's center. Yet he has managed to do this while maintaining the church's core values of fidelity, commitment to family, and service.


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