Elder Rasband, Elder Schmutz participate in Utah Inauguration Ceremony

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered the benediction during the Utah Inauguration Ceremony for Gov. Spencer Cox on Monday, Jan. 4.

During the prayer, the Apostle gave thanks for liberty and freedom. He asked that Gov. Cox be blessed with “wisdom, integrity and courage” to face the future with “certainty and strength.”

On the 125th anniversary of Utah statehood, Gov. Cox, 45, was sworn in as Utah’s 18th governor in front of red rock cliffs at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivins, Utah. Gov. Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson are both Latter-day Saints.

The inaugural ceremony followed an interfaith devotional held Sunday evening, Jan. 3, in the St. George Tabernacle.

Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seveny, speaks during an interfaith devotional held Sunday evening, Jan. 3, 2021, in the St. George Tabernacle in St. George, Utah.
Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seveny, speaks during an interfaith devotional held Sunday evening, Jan. 3, 2021, in the St. George Tabernacle in St. George, Utah.

Representing the Church at the event, Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seventy, spoke of the Founding Fathers’ personal interaction and familiarity that allowed them to work together, even when they disagreed with each other.

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“If we and our political representatives would make more time for breaking bread together, listening to and learning from each other, we would perhaps discover that fair and genuinely held opinions on matters of theory and policy can be debated by and between friends, resulting similarly in the fruits of trust and beneficial compromise,” said Elder Schmutz.

He also called religion essential.

“As people of faith, we would do well to reflect on how essential to our society is a strong religious component; it will enhance the welfare and progress of all other components of society. …

“Active worship causes us to see one another as children of God and fellow travelers in mortality. Not only does this lift the lives of the needy and downtrodden in our communities, but it binds different congregations of faith through shared values and a common desire to do the work of God.”

Benediction

Following is the full text of the benediction offered by Elder Ronald A. Rasband at the Utah Inauguration Ceremony for Governor Spencer Cox on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Oh God, dear Father of us all, we conclude this inaugural
ceremony giving thanks unto to Thee for the beauty and richness of this
state, as exemplified in the magnificent vistas surrounding us today. We
are reminded by this inauguration of the privilege and joy we have of
liberty and freedom. Bless us to never forget and always treasure our
Constitution and those, who for many generations, have upheld it and
protected its principles for us.

Our hearts and minds are full of excitement and anticipation as we support and uphold our new Governor, Spencer James Cox and Lieutenant Governor, Deidre M. Henderson. Bless them with great wisdom, integrity, and courage to face the future with certainty and strength. Bless them with kind hearts and firm resolve to face the many challenges before them. Grant them with an extra measure of compassion and understanding to lead them to especially care for the children and under-privileged of our state.

We pray that thou wilt bless their spouses (Abby and Gabe) and their families in every needful way.

Further, we acknowledge that we live in a time of serious challenges and complexities in our state.  We pray that Thou wilt bless all our elected officials and their staffs to meet these challenges with added blessings from Thy presence.

Now with deep respect and recognition of all faiths and citizens, we commit our prayer and this inaugural service to Thee as we ask for Thy divine guidance and blessing in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and even in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.