'All walks of life gather,' espouse family values at National Prayer Breakfast

The familiar strains of "Come, Come, Ye Saints" welcomed the more than 4,000 national, international, state and religious leaders who came together to pray for peace, understanding and love among peoples of all nations. Elder Vaughn J Featherstone of the Seventy and president of the North America Northeast Area joined President Bill Clinton; First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton; Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper Gore, Feb. 1 at the 1996 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah, chairman of the Senate's weekly informal prayer meeting and a member of the Church, chaired the breakfast.Representing the Church at the breakfast, Elder Featherstone said, "I thought it was a wonderful thing to think of 4,000 people, very pivotal leaders in all walks of life, gathered together with one theme - the family."

After the breakfast, Elder Featherstone said he was heartened when the things that "matter a great deal to our Church, such as the family, hymns to God, faith in Christ, trust, honor and morality," were applauded by the audience.

He added, "President Clinton spoke about the family, Sen. Bennett made comments about the family, just about every speaker said something about the family."

During his remarks, President Clinton focused on problems facing families and children. "Our first challenge is to cherish our children and strengthen America's families. Family is the foundation of American life. If we have stronger families, we will have a stronger America," he said.

Accompanying Elder Featherstone to the breakfast was T. LaMar Sleight, president of the Oakton Virginia Stake and director of the Church's Washington, D.C., Public Affairs Office.

"As a Church we recognize the need for strong families in our society," Pres. Sleight said. "Our hope and prayer is as that as a country we can return to those values which strengthened society in the past."

Ariel Bybee of the Metropolitan Opera sang "How Great Thou Art" to close the breakfast. A member of the Church, Sister Bybee was given a standing ovation for her performance and then led the audience in singing "Amazing Grace."

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