After a 20-minute meeting Tuesday, Jesse Jackson and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said they have more in common than they have differences.
"We talked about a wide range of topics. We talked about our common concerns to help the poor - to help the poor not be poor . . . by helping them be self-sufficient," Jackson said.He added that both he and the church feel people should cross religious and racial lines to fight drug use - especially among youth - and to help keep families strong. "We have an awful lot in common."
When President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the church's First Presidency, was asked if he and Jackson have more in common than they have differences, he said, "Certainly. . . . We had a wonderful visit."
Monson - along with Elders Boyd K. Packer, James E. Faust and Neal A. Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve - presented Jackson with a porcelain statue of a seagull. Others who visited church leaders with Jackson included Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Wilson and his running mate, James W. Davis, and Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry.
Jackson was at ease among church leaders, smiling broadly and shaking hands firmly. He took President Monson by the hand in front of photographers to get several extra shots. As he left, he said, "I'm coming back to hear the (Mormon Tabernacle) choir."
After their visit, crowds that had gathered outside the Church Administration Building on South Temple were treated to the somewhat unusual sight of Jackson, President Monson and others working through crowds and shaking hands together.
Jackson even held and hugged a baby along with President Monson. The lucky baby happened to be Brandon Spencer from Bountiful. His parents, Bob and Kristen Spencer, said they had heard Jackson was in town so they walked over to the Church Administration Building.
Bob said, "I like Jesse. I haven't decided who I want to vote for yet, but I like him - he has style."
As lieutenant governor candidate Davis watched Jackson work through the crowd and earn their cheers and applause, he said, "No one works a crowd like him. It's amazing."