Utah religious leaders celebrate pioneers of many faiths

Published: Thursday, June 30 2011 10:00 a.m. MDT

During the dedicatory meeting, Lt. Governor Greg Bell expressed his admiration for "pioneer forbears from any faith" who have taught that "we must live morally, honestly and with kindness and tolerance."

"Some of the best and wisest voices emanate from our religious community," he said. "May the faiths of our fathers always be found walking among us."

Bishop Wester echoed that theme when he noted that it is "beautiful to see how our faith, civic and business communities can all work together for the common good and to celebrate what is good about our state."

And that, Bishop Wester noted, is what made the Garden Place with its Walk of Pioneer Faiths so important.

"The work that was done here was done for all of us," he said. "Yes, this park is especially sacred to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But because it is sacred to them, it is sacred to all of us, because we are all one. This is part of all of our history, and all of our ancestors are part of this history."

Bishop Wester concluded his remarks by expressing his confidence that "the future will be greatly blessed for this park, as many come here for generations to come to give thanks for our past, celebrate our present and look forward with hope to our future."

In his dedicatory prayer, Bishop Wester thanked God "for your abundant gifts — especially this gift of faith. ... you have hallowed this land through the faith of those who came here." And he prayed that the new building and the Walk of Pioneer Faiths would stand "as a monument to our commitment to love and support one another."

The construction of the Garden Place and the Walk of Pioneer Faiths was funded entirely by private donations.

Email: jwalker@desnews.com

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