“World Leaders Visiting Utah to Learn about Church,” Ensign, Dec. 2004, 69
World leaders are recognizing the need to learn more about the Church as they become aware of the presence of a growing religion in their area or notice the good works the Church is doing through its humanitarian arm. Two leaders recently made separate visits to Salt Lake City to tour Temple Square and learn more about the Church.
Kyrgyzstan’s President and First Lady
Askar Akayev and Mairam Akaeva, president and first lady of Kyrgyzstan, toured Temple Square and attended a live broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word on 26 September 2004. They also visited with Church leaders.
While in Utah, President Akayev and First Lady Akaeva received honorary degrees from Utah Valley State College in Orem, Utah. They were recognized for their contributions to the world community. The couple has helped build orphanages, children’s schools, and centers for those with special needs.
Chile’s First Lady
Chile’s first lady, Luisa Durán de Lagos, visited Salt Lake City on 21 September 2004 to personally thank the Church for the many humanitarian efforts taking place in her country.
Mrs. Durán de Lagos met and talked with the First Presidency before touring the Humanitarian Center. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave the tour, ending it with the presentation of a gift: 600 computers donated by Brigham Young University for schoolchildren in Chile.
“I came here because I wanted to personally thank the Church for what it has given us,” she said. “We have received from the [Church] assistance with ‘Chile Solidario,’ a program designed to help Chile’s poorest families arise from poverty.”