Mormons wind up semiannual conference in Salt Lake City

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2003

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told Mormons that they must ''hold back the world'' by resisting everyday evil embodied in popular culture and the Internet.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, speaking during the church's 173rd semiannual General Conference, said Sunday that ''uncouth-looking entertainers,'' pornography and substance abuse were threats to the faith.

''It was a great tribute to the students of (church-owned) Brigham Young University when The Princeton Review found them to be 'the most stone-cold sober' student body in America,'' Hinckley said, drawing laughter from those gathered in the 21,000-seat Conference Center.

The two-day conference sessions are a time of celebration for church members, with speeches aimed at renewing religious commitment among the 11.7 million Mormons worldwide.

Mormons consider the 93-year-old Hinckley the church ''prophet, seer and revelator.''

Some of the conference sessions were broadcast live in Salt Lake City and simultaneously translated into 58 languages and broadcast live via the church's satellite system to Mormon chapels around the globe.

As usual, evangelical street preachers picketed the conference, waving signs and shout that Mormon teachings are false.

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