Hinckley Speaks to Primary Children

Hinckley Speaks to Primary Children

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- For the first time, the LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley on Saturday spoke directly to children in a satellite broadcast from the church's downtown Conference Center.

The address to children age 7-11 celebrated the 125th anniversary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' program called Primary, organized Aug. 25, 1878, in Farmington, Utah.

A crowd of children, teachers and parents filled the 21,000-seat Conference Center for Hinckley's talk, which was broadcast in 22 languages to chapels in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Hinckley told the children to pray each night for their families and church missionaries.

"Every man or woman who ever walked the Earth, even the lord Jesus, was once a boy or girl like you," he said. "They grew according to the pattern they followed. If that pattern was good, then they became good men and women. ... Never forget that you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Originally an after-school program, Primary now is held on Sundays at church ward houses.

Music especially is used to teach spirituality. Principles like faith, prayer, peace and love are reinforced over and over again through songs whose words often remain with them throughout their adult lives, Primary officials said.

Founded in New York in 1830, the church claims 11 million members.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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