A rabbi's wife and a Mormon author were chatting during the 23rd annual National Conference of Christians and Jews dinner at Little America Hotel Thursday night. "Yes, we're listed in our ward's roster," laughed Rochelle Wenger as she told Emma Lou Thayne about Jewish/Christian relations in her neighborhood.
The remark exemplified the purpose of the national organization that gathered to honor founder Arch L. Madsen, best known for the creation of Bonneville International Corp.Businessman John W. Gallivan began the evening with the story of how Madsen had approached him and Joseph Rosenblatt - a prominent Jew - suggesting that Utah needed a chapter of the NCCJ.
Joseph A. Cannon of Geneva Steel introduced the honoree with anecdotes, remarking, "Whether I'm in Jerusalem; Washington, D.C.; Vail; New York; or Europe, if people find out I'm from Utah, they say, `Oh, Utah, do you know Arch Madsen?' " Cannon said when looking for a Geneva board member with "integrity, probity and judgment, the first one that everyone agreed on was Arch Madsen."
Cannon called on another board member for the closing remark Madsen makes at each board meeting. "He ends with `in full felicity and fellowship,' " came the answer.
With warmth and a gentle sense of humor, Madsen accepted the award, noting that he had been in the hospital for a hip replacement ". . . and couldn't defend myself!"
Quoting from the tenets of Judaism, Christianity, Brahmanism, Islam and Far Eastern religions, Madsen gave the "Golden Rule" concept that has encompassed all religions and creeds. "There are 58 languages spoken in the Los Angeles School District alone," he said. "We have committed the Golden Rule to memory, now let us commit it to our lives."