“President Monson Receives Award, Addresses Red Cross,” Ensign, Aug. 1998, 74–75
“We are all our brothers’ keepers,” said President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, at an awards banquet held in Salt Lake City on 29 April by the National Conference of Community and Justice, formerly called the National Conference of Christians and Jews. President Monson was presented with an award for his “lifetime of advocacy, service, and dedication to the state of Utah and the betterment of humanity.” He was also recognized as a “friend [and] man of compassion, insight, wisdom, and good humor.”
Speaking at the banquet, President Monson thanked NCCJ leaders for “being who you are and what you are, and for what you do and how you influence others to walk the better way.” Sanford Cloud Jr., national president and chief executive officer of NCCJ, commented that President Monson represents “the mission of NCCJ in fighting bias, bigotry, and racism and promoting understanding and respect among all races, religions, and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution, and education.”
On 30 May, President Monson spoke to some 2,000 American Red Cross (ARC) delegates gathered in Salt Lake City for a national convention. “The Church and the American Red Cross have enjoyed a good working relationship through a formal statement of understanding for more than a decade,” remarked President Monson.
Recalling a pioneer saying related to irrigation—“Get the water to the end of the row”—President Monson said: “It’s a mammoth thing to obtain the contributions in time, in cash, and in services. It’s a massive thing to get the aid that is necessary to the countries where havoc reigns, but it is really getting the water to the end of the row when you see the Red Cross deliver aid to starving people and to those who are bereft of their homes or their future.”
President Monson said that hundreds of examples of cooperation between the Church and the Red Cross could be shared, but he would highlight just two. Speaking of a recent blood drive among Church employees in Salt Lake City, he said: “We seldom thank them publicly, but without that contribution other people might very well not have the privilege of life. We are committed as Church members to providing this gift of life for people in need.”
His other example was the cooperative relief effort during recent tornados and flooding in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. “The situation was desperate,” President Monson said. “Thousands of homes were destroyed. Thousands of people had nowhere to go. They had little to eat and only the clothes on their backs. We were pleased that we could have 700 men on the scene and set up in our chapels stations where blood could be given and help could be administered. All this was done in cooperation with the Red Cross.”
Also speaking at the convention were Elizabeth Dole, president of the American Red Cross, and Elder Jon M. Huntsman, Area Authority Seventy and also a member of the ARC board of governors.