Timeline: Key 9/11 events involving the Church, its leaders and members

On Sept. 11, 2001, and the immediate aftermath, the Church began to offer comfort, support and aid where it could. Take a look at the timeline of key events involving the Church and its leaders and members in the 10 days after the attacks.

Sept. 11 — Five Latter-day Saints die in the day’s terrorist attacks.

  • Mary Alice Wahlstrom, of Kaysville, Utah, and her daughter, Carolyn Beung, of Los Angeles, California, are killed as passengers aboard one of the airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers.
  • Ivan Carpio, a native of Peru working in the North Tower’s top-floor restaurant, dies in the attacks that resulted in the collapse of the two towers.
  • Rhonda Sue Ridge Rasmussen, from Crystal City, Virginia, a civil service worker in the Pentagon, and Brady Howell, of Mount Vernon, Virginia, also at the Pentagon working in the Chief of Naval Intelligence Office, are killed.

Sept. 11 — An estimated 1,000 Latter-day Saints work on Manhattan Island, including 50 in the World Trade Center and 200 across the street in the World Financial Complex; 3,500 members live in the area of the World Trade Center in the New York New York Stake. Some 20 of the 50 working in the World Trade Center don’t go to work that day because of illness, working late the night before or a sudden change in schedule, note local Church leaders. The New York attacks result in temporary displacement of only 10 members, including four missionaries residing in the lockdown area near ground zero.

Sept. 11 — The First Presidency releases a statement after the day’s attacks, expressing sympathy, offering prayers and making relief assistance available. The Church promptly donates $160,000 to assist the American Red Cross — $150,000 to the national office to assist with search and rescue work, emergency food and shelter and other needs at the attack sites, with $10,000 to the Salt Lake chapter to help stranded travelers with food and shelter.

Sept. 11 — At the Tabernacle, President Gordon B. Hinckley turns a private performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square into an evening memorial service, offering remarks, including “there is shining through the heavy overcast of fear and anger the solemn and wonderful image of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the Exemplar of universal love.”

Read more: 2 comforting messages President Gordon B. Hinckley shared after the 9/11 terrorist attacks

Sept. 14 — The Tabernacle hosts a pair of memorial services — at 10 a.m. and noon — held in response to U.S. President George W. Bush’s call for a national day of prayer and remembrance. President Hinckley offers remarks as “balm for wounded hearts,” with all three members of the First Presidency praying during the service. Several Apostles read from the Bible, the Tabernacle Choir sings hymns of patriotism, hope and comfort, and the Nauvoo Bell tolls for three minutes. The services are carried by the Church’s satellite system.

Thousands of people gathered in the Tabernacle on Temple Square for one of two National Day of Prayer services on Sept. 14, 2001. The services memorialized those killed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, and featured prayers for comfort and healing.
Thousands of people gathered in the Tabernacle on Temple Square for one of two National Day of Prayer services on Sept. 14, 2001. The services memorialized those killed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, and featured prayers for comfort and healing. Credit: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Sept. 14 — President Hinckley advises grieving Americans to find refuge in the Lord as he is interviewed via satellite on the CNN program “Larry King Live.” Also taking questions from callers, the Prophet says the 9/11 aftermath provides “a day of spiritual renewal for Americans.”

Sept. 16 — Following the First Presidency’s suggestion, sacrament meetings become memorial services and a time for expressions of faith in the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God. Prayers, music and talks reflect sorrow for those who have lost loved ones and the promise of the immortality of the soul.

Sept. 20 — President Hinckley is among 26 religious leaders from across the country meeting at the White House and providing a collective public statement on 9/11. They later meet with Bush, who references the statement later that evening when speaking before a joint session of Congress.

Where were you on 9/11? The Church News staff shares what they remember