Memorial Service -- Tuesday, September 11, 2001
The following is a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
A concert featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was scheduled tonight in Salt Lake City for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Underwriters. Owing to today's tragic attacks, the Choir's performance was changed to present a memorial service in remembrance of those who died. The First Presidency of the Church attended the service in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. President Gordon B. Hinckley offered introductory remarks, below. (Click here to listen to some of President Hinckley's remarks or to listen to concert numbers, click here.)
President Gordon B. Hinckley
"Perhaps I should introduce myself because this evening's performance was primarily designed for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Underwriters. I am Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"Today has been a day that will be remembered always in the annals of our beloved nation. It has been a day when the ugly face of hatred has shown itself with terror, death and destruction. It has been a day when uncounted numbers of the innocent have perished, and their loved ones have been left to sorrow. Many have been wounded, and this our nation has been seriously injured and insulted.
"Now we welcome you to this historic Tabernacle, a building dedicated to the gospel of peace. The Choir and Orchestra which make this building their home will entertain you. But in these circumstances we have taken the liberty of asking the Choir to alter their program to make of this a sacred memorial service. We hope, dear friends, that you will accord with our request and that you will join with us in the spirit of this solemn occasion.
"The Choir opened with "The Star Spangled Banner," our national anthem. The Choir will sing other songs of America. But they will also sing songs of consolation, of comfort, of hope and of assurance.
"Our hearts are deeply touched, as are those of all Americans and of free people across the world. This has been a tragic, solemn and dark day. We have been reminded that evil is still rampant in the world. Its insidious and dastardly hand has struck again in a most reprehensible manner.
"The president of our nation has assured us that there will be detection and punishment. But that will not bring back the many whose lives have been taken or salve the pain of those who have been injured.
"But dark as is this hour, 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, and it is to Him that we look in these circumstances. It was He who gave His life that all might enjoy eternal life.
"May the peace of Christ rest upon us and give us comfort and reassurance and, particularly, we plead that He will comfort the hearts of all who mourn and ask it in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
The invocation was offered by President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency. President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, gave the benediction.