Emphasizing that every person has ample opportunity to give, President Thomas S. Monson spoke at the dedication of Salt Lake City's new shelter for the homeless Nov. 18.
President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, represented the Church at a ceremony to officially open the Salt Lake Community Shelter and Resource Center. Thousands of individuals and groups contributed to building the $4 million facility. The Church donated furniture from two hotels and made a sizeable financial contribution to the shelter.President Monson was among religious and community leaders participating in the ceremony. The Rev. George E. Bates of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah gave the dedicatory prayer.
In his remarks to the gathering, President Monson said thoughts during the holiday season turn to Charles Dickens' classic story, "A Christmas Carol." President Monson summarized the story in which Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley. President Monson quoted Marley: "Mankind was my business. . . . Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunities misused! Yet such was I! Oh, such was I! . . . Why did I wander through throngs of fellow beings with my eyes cast down and never once lift them to that glorious star that guided wise men to a poor abode. Were there no poor homes toward which its light might have conducted me?"
President Monson said, "In this community, when we engage one with another in such projects as this shelter, we build a spirit of unity and strength.
"May the Spirit of the Master, even Jesus, who gave all, even His own life, be with you and with me and with every person who walks the halls of this shelter, or who sits and enjoys life in this patio, or who sleeps in a soft clean bed, and who eats nourishing food and who is given hope for tomorrow, thanks to you."
The new facility will have the capability to provide temporary shelter and assistance to as many as 240 single men and about 30 families by the first of December.