ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 21 Sep 2001   For week ended September 21, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 21Sep01

By Rosemary Pollock

Notable Mormons, Apostle Support New 'Alliance for Unity'

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The "Alliance for Unity," a group of church, business, political and media leaders stood together Monday on the steps of the state Capitol under a U.S. flag and read a statement of unity crafted by the alliance. "We are concerned that acceptance of diversity in Utah today is not of the scope or at the level it ought to be," read billionaire industrialist Jon M. Huntsman and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. "Our overriding goal is to help people cross boundaries of culture, religion, and ethnicity to better understand and befriend one another."

Alliance member, Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, acknowledged that some church members are "too narrow." "They don't know how to accept people of other cultures," Elder Ballard said. "They need to reach out to their neighbors."

Citing daily newspaper reports, the Alliance claims that Utah is increasingly fractured along religious and cultural, and political lines. "We viewed it as things that were boiling below the surface were starting to come to the surface," said Anderson. "That's not a bad thing."

The Alliance for Unity meetings began in May with closed doors, that were an opportunity for leaders in some of the state's former public squabbles to set aside their differences and look for areas of common ground. Huntsman called the first two meetings, "spirited." "At any point in time, someone could have walked out," he said. But they didn't and last week all 18 members signed a statement that took five months to draft.

"Religious understanding," said alliance member and Roman Catholic Bishop George Niederhauer, "will hopefully spread and affect how Mormons talk about Catholics when only Mormons are in the room and how Catholics talk about Mormons when only Catholics are in the room." Yet, the problem extends beyond religious affiliations. Many stand apart on issues of gay rights. "It doesn't mean we are going to compromise our doctrine," said Elder Ballard. "The political side of this is not nearly as critical as the spiritual, ethnic and corporate sides," said Huntsman.

In spite of all the cooperation, not all appeared impressed with Monday's announcement for unity. One reporter called the group's statement "platitudinous." "Though they may sound like platitudes, we have to start somewhere where we all agree," countered Robert "Archie" Archuleta, a longtime Latino advocate. "Seldom do we agree on issues," Huntsman said. "But we respect each other." "We need help from the community," University of Utah president and alliance member Bernie Machen added. "We're not here with all the answers."

During the July 24 Pioneer Day celebration, President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke on the issues of bias and bigotry. "We must not be clannish. We must never adopt a holier-than-thou attitude. We must not be self-righteous. We must be magnanimous, and open, and friendly," he said. "We can keep our faith. We can practice our religion. We can cherish our method of worship without being offensive to others. I take this occasion to plead for a spirit of tolerance and neighborliness, of friendship and love toward those of other faiths."


Community Alliance Issues Call for Tolerance, Diversity
Salt Lake Tribune 18Sep01 D4
By Dan Egan: Salt Lake Tribune

Alliance is full of faith in Utah
Deseret News 17Sep01 D4
By Diane Urbani and Bob Bernick Jr.: Deseret News staff writers
Huntsman, Rocky tout new group as a beacon for unity

Statement of Purpose
Salt Lake Tribune 18Sep01 D4

Group tries to bridge Utah's religious divide
(Phoenix) AZ Republic (AP) 18Sep01 D4
Associated Press


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information