Desert News Archives

Editor's note: With the election season winding down and a new president about to take office, the Deseret News has decided to review the presidents who have visited Utah and explain what they did while they were on their trip through the Beehive State.

President Jimmy Carter is known these days for his Sunday School class, one in which the president himself sometimes teaches religious lessons.

And that’s exactly what he brought to Salt Lake City when he visited as president in 1978. According to KSL, Carter spoke at the Salt Lake Tabernacle about family. He then came back to Utah a few times after his presidency, visited Temple Square, and offered book signings.

When he visited Salt Lake City, he met with President Spencer W. Kimball of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he gave the closing prayer at the Family Week program at the tabernacle, which occurred in November 1978.

During his speech, he talked about how he took his family to Camp David.

“We have a large family, a close family, an exciting family, and one which has given one another great help and support and encouragement in times of difficulty or excitement or joy or achievement or sorrow,” Carter said in his speech. “There's nothing that gives me more pleasure, even as president of the United States, than to have Amy come to me in the evening, when I'm tired and concerned and worried, and put her arms around my neck and give me a kiss.”

He also talked about how he, as a man of faith, felt welcomed in Salt Lake City.

“I come here as president of a great country. And in that same act of faith and in affirmation of hope, I tell you that our nation can say all is well. And even the American family can be characterized by the same phrase, all is well. Because as was your early church in the minds and hearts of your own forefathers, so is our nation and the family so precious, so dear, so innately good and right and decent and strong, that challenges to us, to our nation, to the American family can successfully be withstood,” he said.