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J.P. Morgan
Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve and a former high school quarterback, shows great form as he throws the first pitch - a strike - at Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 22, 2011.

LOS ANGELES — More than 4,200 Latter-day Saints and their friends gathered in Los Angeles on July 22 for the annual Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium.

Marking the beginning of the celebration for Pioneer Day weekend for many, the members had gathered with high expectations and were not disappointed, even though the Dodgers came out of the short end of a 7-2 score to the Washington Nationals. The fireworks following the game didn't disappoint.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve was on hand for the evening and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Joshua Creek, an LDS recording group, sang the national anthem, as well as “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch.

The Dodgers also invited a number of Primary-age children and other adults to join them on the field prior to the game. The children were then invited to “take the field” with the Dodger players as they took their positions at the beginning of the game. Each child was given a baseball that the player had signed.

New this year was the introduction of a commemorative wristband inscribed “LA Mormon Night 2011 LA.” Also new this year was the addition of a Facebook page promoting Dodger Night. The result is that several people from different states learned of the event and traveled to California to attend.

One young man from New York commented that he was getting married the following day in the Los Angeles Temple and that attending the game would be his bachelor party.

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Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium, the longest running community event held by the Dodgers organization, has gone for more than 20 years. It is also the largest special event they hold.

Elder Cook expressed his pleasure with the event and noted that the name of the church had been mentioned several times throughout the evening, both over the PA system as well as on the Jumbotron.

Elder Jerryl Garns, an Area Seventy who caught the first pitch, also expressed his pleasure with the evening, noting that several of the members had used Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium as a friendshipping opportunity.