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Posted 14 Sep 2001   For week ended September 14, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 13Sep01

By Kent Larsen

Reactions from LDS Members Nationwide

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Statements from local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the United States have appeared in local newspapers, and local congregations and leaders have been active in hosting prayer vigils and memorials across the nation in the wake of Tuesday's horrifying attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Many local newspapers have surveyed clergy looking for local reactions to the tragedies, and LDS leaders have given a wide range of advice and counsel on coping with these events.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Temple president Wayne Pratt was quoted by the Albuquerque Journal on what we can do about the tragedies, "We all feel so helpless about it," said Pratt. "We can pray about it, and then when the opportunity presents itself, we should do all we can to help those families." In Washington State's Tri-Cities, regional LDS spokeswoman Harriet Sutherland suggested giving to the church's humanitarian services fund, marking the money for the terrorist disaster.

At an Interfaith Service at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, UNC history professor Grant Hardy, who is also a local LDS leader, worried that the attacks might result in retaliation against American Muslims, "Let us refrain from indiscriminate hatred and violence, but open our hearts to Muslims who are Americans and those around the world who deplore this act," said Hardy.

Bill Burnett, director of the LDS Institute in Pleasant Hill, California responded to a question from a reporter in the Walnut Creek Contra Costa Times on how something so awful could happen, if there is a God, "Well, God is a loving God. He has deemed all the children the same. One of the greatest gifts he has given us is that of agency, or choice. God gave us the opportunity to make choices and sometimes we don't make the right one," said Burnett.

Elsewhere, local leaders cancelled activities or provided resources to help aid relief efforts. In Boulder City, Nevada, an LDS building was used for a local blood drive. The La Canada Flintridge LDS building cancelled a youth social scheduled for Tuesday night and Bishop Brian Kelley urged families to pray for the victims and their families.

The Idaho State University LDS Institute in Pocatello, Idaho, which serves some 1,700 students, didn't schedule a specific memorial service, but director Richard Openshaw says that the events permeated the classes, "In most classes, we talked about it and shared President Hinckley's fireside message that was positive and full of hope about what may be ahead," Openshaw told the Idaho State Journal.

On Washington's Mercer Island, the local LDS chapel hosted an Interfaith service sponsored by the Mercer Island Clergy Association, as did an LDS building in Rancho Palos Verdes in California. Local church members also participated in Interfaith events at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Even BYU hosted a Prayer Vigil Wednesday evening in the Marriott Center. Sponsored by the University, Provo City and the Utah Valley Ministerial Association, the event featured prayers for the victims, talks by local leaders, a flag ceremony, vocal and instrumental numbers, and prayers offered by various religious leaders throughout the community.

In response to the tragedy, the church has also took a series of steps to commemorate the tragedy and offer support to the victims. The immediate response was to close church headquarters and all Utah temples at 2 pm Tuesday. LDS Church president Gordon B. Hinckley then appeared at a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert, which was turned into an impromptu memorial, which was broadcast locally. The Church also announced a donation of $160,000 to the American Red Cross for the relief of the victims and suggested that LDS sacrament meetings on Sunday be memorial services for the disaster.

The Church is also holding two national memorial services Friday, in response to President George W. Bush's call for a national day of prayer and remembrance on that day. The services, held at 10:00 am MDT and 12:00 pm MDT, will be rebroadcast to LDS meetinghouses throughout the four continental US time zones at noon local time in each time zone. The broadcast will also be carried on BYU-TV, available on the Dish Network, and will be available on the Internet at

But not all reactions to the tragedy have focused on its spiritual aspects or on the victims. The Salt Lake Tribune reports a run on emergency and survival supplies, which LDS leaders have suggested that every member have on hand. Demoine Gold of Survival Solutions of West Valley City says he was surprised to find his first caller Tuesday morning was "a lady that wanted a year's supply of long-term food storage," he said. "That took me a little bit by surprise." The Tribune reports that other emergency and survival supplies vendors saw increased business on Tuesday as local residents reacted to the tragedy.


Duke City Residents Gather in Prayer
Albuquerque NM Journal 12Sep01 D1
By Rick Nathanson: Journal Staff Writer

Faith brings solace
Kennewick WA Tri-City Herald 12Sep01 D1
By Mike Lee: Herald staff writer

Interfaith service leads prayer for peace
Asheville NC Citizen-Times 13Sep01 N1
By Dale Neal: Staff Writer

Patriotism flows with LV blood
Las Vegas NV Sun 12Sep01 D1
By Emily Richmond: Las Vegas Sun
Donation sites are overwhelmed but open throughout the valley

Churches offer prayer, services, counseling
Los Angeles Times 12Sep01 D1
By Marshall Allen and Gretchen Hoffman
People need something to 'hold up their faith,' pastor says following attacks.

Messages of hope lift area spirits
Pocatello ID State Journal 13Sep01 D1

As tragedy sinks in, an image of America shatters
Seattle WA Post-Intelligencer 12Sep01 D1
By Heath Foster: Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter

Amid solemn tributes to victims, skies are quiet
Seattle WA Times 13Sep01 D1
By David Postman: Seattle Times staff reporter

Religious Services, Candlelight Vigils Planned
Torrance CA Daily Breeze 13Sep01 D1

InterFaith Conference's Diverse Faith Traditions Gather for Prayer at Gaston Hall, Georgetown University, Thursday, September 13, 2001 at 10 a.m.
PRNewswire 12Sep01 D1

Wednesday evening prayer vigil will honor terrorist victims
BYU NewsNet 12Sep01 D3

Prayer Vigil provides peace for Provo
BYU NewsNet 12Sep01 D1
By Stephanie Richards: NewsNet Staff Writer

Top of Utah's churches offering comfort, prayer
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner 12Sep01 D1
By Cathy McKitrick: Standard-Examiner staff

People, not God, have created evil
Walnut Creek CA Contra Costa Times 13Sep01 N1

Utahns Stock Up on Storable Food, 72-Hour Kits, Survivalist Supplies
Salt Lake Tribune 12Sep01 D4


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