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President Trump tours Welfare Square, visits privately with LDS Church leaders

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SALT LAKE CITY — While the public lands announcement dominated President Donald Trump's trip to Utah Monday, it wasn't the only thing on his agenda.

Moments after Air Force One touched down in Salt Lake City, the president and his motorcade traveled to Welfare Square, at 751 W. 700 South, and met with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In all, the president spent about 30 minutes with church leadership at Welfare Square.

President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the LDS Church's First Presidency, and President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, helped lead Trump through the Bishops' Storehouse and Deseret Bakery.

As he toured the building, the president learned about the LDS Church's welfare facilities and self-reliance programs dedicated to serving those in need, regardless of their faith, all around the world.

"All of the care and all of the giving you've done, and to help people, in particular, poor people, (is) a great thing," Trump told church leaders.

Then gesturing to the nearby group of reporters, the president said, "And perhaps they will transmit that to different parts of the country and the world. It's so brilliant to hear it."

Prior to their photo-op for the media, the president and church leaders met privately for about 20 minutes. There, President Eyring said he spoke to Trump "mostly about the church and about this operation (at Welfare Square)."

"And the doctrine (of the church)," President Nelson interjected.

"And a little about the doctrine," President Eyring agreed.

On the final leg of his tour, the president of the United States did something he probably hasn't done in a while: He pushed a grocery cart. This time, he strolled the aisles of the Bishops' Storehouse to get a clearer understanding of the LDS Church's mission to help others.

Church leaders said the president's visit was so quick there wasn't time to prepare the traditional gift of a president's genealogy. Instead, they presented Trump with a porcelain Christus statue, similar to the Christus statue in the North Visitors Center on Temple Square.

Contributing: Jordan Ormond


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