By Rosemary Pollock
President Hinckley Tells Church Members to be More Tolerant
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Speaking to a near-capacity crowd of 20,000 on
Sunday night in the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, President Gordon B. Hinckley took the occasion of the
first annual July 24 Pioneer Day celebration in Utah to make a call to
Church members to "plead for a spirit of tolerance and neighborliness, of
friendship and love toward those of other faiths." His remarks have caught
the attention of newspapers nationwide through the Associated Press.
"I plead with our people to welcome them, to befriend them, to mingle with
them, to associate with them in the promulgation of good causes," President
Hinckley said. "We are all sons and daughters of God." President Hinckley
noted that both Utah's capital city and state had become home "to many
people of great diversity." He characterized the coming of the Winter
Olympic Games to Utah as prophetic when he quoted former President Brigham
Young who once said, "kings and emperors and the noble and wise of the earth
will visit us here."
Informal surveys by steering members of the "Days of '47" committee found
that during previous celebrations many Utahns felt excluded from festivities
surrounding the state holiday. President Hinckley added that to further the
spirit of tolerance and neighborliness, "There will likely be an increasing
tendency to emphasize (the state's) diversity in the 24th of July parade and
associated festivities" in the years to come.
"We must never permit ourselves to lose sight of the great and singular
achievements of those who first came to this valley in 1847," President
Hinckley said. "Generations yet to come owe a debt of gratitude and
remembrance to those early settlers who on the anvil of adversity were
hammered and shaped and tempered. It was the conviction they carried in
their hearts, strong and secure and immovable, that God had restored His
work in these latter-days, and that from this place where the house of the
Lord should be established in the tops of the mountains, the work of God
would roll forth to the nations of the earth," he said.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra performed a selection of 10 songs
portraying a legacy of faith through music. Scenes of pioneers in wagon
trains crossing the plains and others crossing oceans on sailing ships,
played on large overhead screens.
Hinckley Urges Religious Tolerance
Salt Lake Tribune 23Jul01 N1
By Bob Mims: Salt Lake Tribune
Pres. Hinckley speaks out against self-righteousness
Deseret News 23Jul01 N1
By Carrie A. Moore: Deseret News religion editor
LDS Church leader: Don't be 'clannish'
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner (AP) 24Jul01 N1
The Associated Press
Religion News in Brief: Church president tells Mormons to welcome non-Mormons
Washington Post (AP) 26Jul01 N1