The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has endorsed a U.S. Presidential proclamation calling for three days of national thanksgiving because of the recent end of the Persian Gulf war.

The First Presidency's message states:"The president of the United States has appropriately proclaimed April 5-7, 1991, as a national period of thanksgiving for the end of the war in the Middle East. We heartily endorse his proclamation and encourage all to express their gratitude through prayer and other appropriate activities.

"We are thankful for the resolution of the war, and it is our fervent hope and prayer that all nations involved will work in concert for a lasting peace. The collective prayers of the nation and the world should focus not only on a lasting peace but on the needs of the many on both sides who lost loved ones and endured suffering in the conflict."

In his proclamation, President Bush said, "It is fitting that we give thanks to our Heavenly Father, our help and shield, for his mercy and protection." He also requested that flags be flown during the thanksgiving period and that bells be rung nationwide at 1 p.m. (MDT) on Sunday, April 7.

The church's 161st Annual General Conference will be in session April 7 in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, and church officials say the historic Nauvoo Bell, situated on the square, will be rung at 1 p.m. to commemorate the occasion.