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First visit in 75 years by a Church president

Although the sky was overcast on Sunday morning, Aug. 2, thousands of Latter-day Saints waited patiently in line at the Lethbridge Sportsplex, awaiting the arrival of President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Of the approximately 150,000 members of the Church in Canada, only about one-third live in southern Alberta. However, no building was large enough to hold all those who wanted to hear the prophet speak. Consequently, the member meeting was broadcast by video and audio to stake centers throughout the area for those who could not get into the Sportsplex.Longtime residents say it has been nearly 75 years since a Church president has held such a meeting in the area, and it was an opportunity of a lifetime to have the Lord's prophet in their midst.

President Hinckley expressed his love for the members of the Church.

He complimented the people in Canada who have turned the tide against gambling and emphasized there is no place for pornography in the lives of LDS people, nor spouse and child abuse. He cautioned fathers to beware of indulging in anger.

Accompanying President Hinckley to Lethbridge were his wife, Marjorie Hinckley; President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, and his wife, Donna; Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy and of the North America Central Area presidency and his wife, Pamela; and Elder Lynn A. Rosenvall, Area Authority Seventy in Calgary, and his wife, Beth. Also attending were Pres. Don Ostler and his wife, Barbara, of the Canada Calgary Mission.

Reaction to President Hinckley's visit was very positive. For many it was the first time they had seen a president of the Church in person. To others it was the spiritual shot in the arm they needed at the moment to help overcome problems in an uncertain world of struggle and turmoil.

As President Hinckley concluded his remarks to the large congregation, he expressed his appreciation for the prayers of the members in behalf of Church leaders. He said he prayed the people will be blessed with food on their tables, clothing on their backs and shelter over their heads.

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