In another appearance with King on Christmas Eve 1999, President Hinckley said there was a greater chance of unity among all religions now than ever before. "We have differences, of course we do. But there's a greater spirit of tolerance I think a greater spirit of acceptance of other religions," he said on the show. Also interviewed at that time were the Rev. Robert Schuller and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
"Standing for Something 10 Neglected Virtues that Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes," released in February 2000, was written for a national audience, President Hinckley said.
He expressed concern that many people had abandoned time-honored and proven virtues, particularly love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness and mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism and faith.
He called for a "return to God," declaring a need to worship him, to acknowledge his power and to seek his guidance.
In November 1999, President Hinckley was honored as Communicator of the Year by two professional public relations organizations. He received the Parry D. Sorensen Communicator of the Year Award at a Golden Spike Awards luncheon of the Intermountain Association of Business Communicators and the Public Relations Society of America.
At the NAACP's regional conference in Salt Lake City in April 1998, President Hinckley spoke on the need for fathers to take their place at the head of the family and to bridge racial barriers. He commended the NAACP for the efforts its members were making.
The group gave President Hinckley three separate ovations. And when he was finished speaking, Salt Lake NAACP President Jeanetta Williams presented him with a Distinguished Service Award.
In September 1999, he dedicated a gravesite memorial to those who died in the Mountain Meadows Massacre in southwestern Utah in 1857, in which LDS settlers and their American Indian allies attacked a wagon train. He said, "Let the book of the past be closed. Let peace come into our hearts." He said the tragedy was something to remember not with bitterness but with a spirit of compassion and understanding.
"We now live in a diverse society," he told the congregation at the 2002 Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert. "Without forsaking our own faith, we can and must respect the desire of others. We can practice our own religion without offending others. We can be good neighbors, working together to build our community."
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