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Posted 16 May 2001   For week ended May 18, 2001
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 14May01

By Kent Larsen

Dalai Lama Visits LDS Church's First Presidency

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- As part of a three-day visit to Salt Lake City, Utah that ended Saturday, the Dalai Lama met with the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking with them about the plight of his homeland and its exile community. The Tibetan spiritual leader is on a seven-city US tour, and Salt Lake City was his first stop. He has been in exile from Tibet, his homeland, for 42 years.

He was apparently favorably impressed with LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, describing him as a "very good, wonderful old gentleman." He was also impressed by President Hinckley's language, "He used the word 'brother.' That is very right, very correct." he added. The Dalai Lama's comments indicated that they had a cordial, friendly visit.

During his visit, the Dalai Lama also visited Primary Children's Medical Center, met with leaders of other faiths in Salt Lake City, and gave an address at Utah Valley State College. He also made many statements with which LDS Church members would agree, praising peace, advocating human rights, and saying, for example, that we are all the same, "We are all human beings, same mentally and physically. Same brain, same potential. There's no barrier."

Of course, some of the Tibetan leader's comments did not agree with LDS philosophy. He suggested, for example, that the world needs a variety of religions, and that missionaries should seek those with no faith, instead of seeking to convert those of another faith.

But there may be more similarities than meet the eye. Last March, a Salt Lake Tribune article looked at the similarities between the Mormon and the Tibetan experience and between President Hinckley and the Dalai Lama. The author, Peggy Fletcher Stack, wrote that both men use gentle humor to relate to people, and use the news media to advance their causes. And both have written books in recent years to explain how people should act.

But regardless of the similarities and differences between the men and their beliefs, the Dalai Lama's comments showed he was most interested in promoting the cause of his homeland.


Dalai Lama: Convert Only Those Without Religion
Salt Lake Tribune 13May01 N1
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune

The Dalai Lama: Keeping the Faith
Salt Lake Tribune 12May01 N1
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune

Dalai Lama urges tolerance, peace
Deseret News 12May01 N1
By Elaine Jarvik: Deseret News staff writer
No one religion is right for all, he says

Two Men, One Message
Salt Lake Tribune 31Mar01 N2
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune
Gordon Hinckley, president of the LDS Church, and the Dalai Lama, Buddhist leader, share more than most might think


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