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Sent on Mormon-News: 22May01

By Rosemary Pollock

Mill Creek Mormons Example of Getting Along with Neighbors

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- An appreciation for each other's beliefs have the neighbors of the Canyon Rim East Mill Creek neighborhood sharing different religious customs and events. Putting aside fears and forging into unknown territory Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Latter-day Saints are enjoying being together and not using religious affiliation as an excuse for not getting involved.

"We have been willing to go the extra mile too. You should hear the comments made in my church," neighbor Christine Balderas said. "Do we disagree on issues? Yes! Do we sometimes say or hear thing? Sometimes. Do we let it fester and destroy our Heaven and Earth relationships with our neighbors? Never! It just isn't worth the price," Balderas said.

A recent Catholic communion was attended by nearly the entire street. A bishop from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended Mass in celebration of the event. "It was a wonderful experience for our children to be involved in and to learn about their friends's special religious event," Balderas said.

An appreciation of each other's beliefs has been gained by participating in what is now a pretty routine custom of supporting each others religous and non-religious events. Neighborhood ice cream socials, children's street plays, caroling parties, summer camping trips and Christmas service projects have offered opportunities for service and support in times of grief or celebration.

Many neighbors who aren't members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints support Church social events, baptisms, children's Primary programs as well as missionary farewells and homecomings. Three neighbors have been Cub Scout leaders in the LDS ward Scouting program and have contributed many hours of service despite coming from different religious traditions.

"My Episcopal neighbor contributes money regularly to our LDS ward Relief Society, after women on the street gave round-the-clock care to his wife while he was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack," Balderas said.

With so many characteristics and life goals that are shared, the neighbors celebrate their commonality rather than focus on what separates them. "Both adults and children on our street care immensely about each other and by so doing, we have grown to appreciate and love our differences. It is nice to come home," Balderas said.


Mill Creek Neighbors Celebrate Tolerance
Salt Lake Tribune 19May01 D4
By Christine W. Balderas: Special to the Tribune


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