In what became yet another whirlwind weekend Sept. 13-14, President Gordon B. Hinckley traveled to three states, speaking to nearly 28,000 Church members and to a few dozen religion writers.
On Saturday evening, Sept. 13, President Hinckley participated in a fireside in Colorado, celebrating 100 years since the establishment of the first permanent branch in Denver - which then spanned across the Wyoming border. The fireside was also a sesquicentennial celebration, commemorating the Mississippi Saints who established a temporary colony in Pueblo, Colo., in August 1846. The following summer those Saints joined Brigham Young's vanguard company. (Please see articles on this page and on page 11.)President Hinckley spoke Sunday morning, Sept. 14, in Albuquerque, N.M., to members of the Religion Newswriters Association. (Please see story on page 5.)
"I make a commitment a long time in advance, thinking it will be a simple thing, and then when the date approaches the whole thing appears more formidable," said the prophet, commenting on his busy schedule. "It is in these circumstances that I am here this beautiful Sunday morning. I spoke last night to a very large gathering in Denver commemorating the centennial of our work there. When I finish here, I fly to Window Rock to meet with a large gathering of Navajos and Hopis. From there I go to Mesa for another meeting, so it will be a long day before I get home tonight."
In Window Rock, Ariz., early Sunday afternoon, President Hinckley spoke to more than 5,000 Native American members - most part of the Navajo Nation. (Please see report on page 6.)
Just hours later he rededicated the Papago Chapel, outside of Mesa, Ariz. (Please see article on page 6.)
The majority of the Papago Ward membership comes from the Pima and Maricopa Indian communities in the Salt River Valley. The Papago Ward was created in 1884 and today is the oldest Native American ward in the Church. President Hinckley's great uncle, Arza E. Hinckley, then a missionary, was the first bishop of the ward.