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LDS Church President Monson urges disenfranchised to return to the fold

Published April 6, 2008 12:14 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 12:15 PM- LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson addressed Mormon faithful Sunday, echoing sentiments of welcome and inclusion that were hallmarks of his nearest predecessors.

During the morning session of the church's 178th Annual General Conference, Monson spoke directly to "the less active, the offended, the critical, the transgressor" members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and urged them to come back and "feast at the table of the Lord and taste again the sweet and satisfying fruits of fellowship with the Saints."

Monson encouraged Mormons to show kindness and respect "for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours."

The new president was overwhelmed, he said, by church members' symbolic gestures of support offered Saturday.

"As your hands were raise toward heaven, my heart was touched," Monson said. "I felt your love and support, as well as your commitment to the Lord."

As a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, Monson has enjoyed meeting with Mormons across the globe and plans to continue traveling, as the late President Gordon B. Hinckley did.

"I pledge my life, my strength - all that I have to offer - in serving the Lord and in directing the affairs of his church in accordance with his will and by his inspiration," Monson said.

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