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Marvelous gathering of members in Madrid

MADRID, Spain — President Gordon B. Hinckley ended his weeklong tour of Europe after dedicating the Denmark Copenhagen Temple by meeting with members of the Church in Spain on May 29, only weeks after terrorist bombings shredded trains here.

"I think this is the largest gathering of Latter-day Saints ever held in these two countries," said President Hinckley, referring to the 7,935 who attended from Spain and Portugal.

"How nice it is to be back in Madrid again," he said, "this great, marvelous and wonderful city. I first came in 1955. I visited here. My wife and I came together. There were no members of the Church that we knew of anywhere in Spain or Portugal.

"Now, to see this marvelous gathering of Latter-day Saints, people who carry in their hearts a love for the Lord. . . how I feel grateful to you."

President Hinckley acknowledged Dr. Joaquim Mantecon, representative of Spain's Ministry of Religion who was in attendance, and then spoke of his friendship with Bishop George H. Niederauer of the Salt Lake Catholic Diocese and said, "We are good friends. We have a different theology. We don't agree on everything in doctrine, but we are not disagreeable. We love and appreciate and respect one another."

President Hinckley said he visited the Prado Museum where he was impressed with the "representation by the great artists of the world of the Godhead," the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "Three distinct beings Who are united in blessing all mankind," he said.

"He is my Eternal Father; and . . . we are His sons and daughters. . . . Therefore, we are brothers and sisters and ought to live together as brothers and sisters," he said, after quoting the first Article of Faith.

"We live in a world of conflict and trouble, of hatred and meanness," he continued. "I had pointed out to me this morning the place where the terrible bombing (of the train) took place. I said to myself, 'There could be no such thing, there would be no such thing, if all men believed in God the Eternal Father, and that we are all brothers and sisters.' "

After quoting the ninth Article of Faith, President Hinckley said, "I cannot get over the feeling that if revelation was needed anciently, when life was simple, that revelation is also needed today, when life is complex. There never was a time in the history of the earth when men needed revelation more than they need it now. . . . I want to testify to you . . . that the book of revelation is not closed."

Concerning the 11th Article of Faith, President Hinckley said, "Much of the trouble in the world comes from conflict between religions. I am happy to be able to say that I can sit down with my Catholic friends and talk with them, that I can sit down with my Protestant friends and talk with them."

Before concluding, he said, "Now, as I look into your faces, you beautiful men and women with your beautiful children, I feel so grateful."

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