Nauvoo Bell rings out on day of Thanksgiving
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The Nauvoo Bell on Temple Square rang out in thanksgiving Sunday, April 7.
The resounding of the bell between Sunday sessions of general conference was heard in response to President George Bush's proclamation that April 5-7 be designated as days of prayer and thanksgiving for the end of the Persian Gulf war.President Bush requested that bells across the country be rung on Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and that prayers of gratitude be offered.
Many members of the Church on Temple Square, waiting for the Sunday afternoon session to begin, grew quiet as the Nauvoo bell pealed 28 times in one minute at 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.
Greg Mortimer, operations supervisor for Temple Square, said the bell is controlled by an electronic system in the basement of the Tabernacle. The system is set according to Greenwich time, the standard time throughout most of the world.
As the ringing faded throughout Temple Square, Cathy Cromar, Brighton 8th Ward, Salt Lake Brighton Stake, stood with tears in her eyes.
Sister Cromar said she was glad President Bush called for special days of prayer, "but we've been praying [for peaceT for months."
Her husband, Kevin, and five children, four of them waving American flags, stood nearby. Brother Cromar is a member of the Utah Army National Guard, based in Draper, Utah, and is the Church's group leader for his military intelligence unit. He was not deployed to Saudi Arabia, although several members of his unit were.
Brother Cromar expressed gratitude for "peace and renewed patriotism in the country." His 6-year-old son, Kevin, told the Church News, "We're really lucky because we're free."
Lynn Rosenvall stood near the bell with his two daughters, Laura, 17, and Heather, 15. Elder Rosenvall is regional representative for the Big Horn Wyoming, Great Falls Montana, and Missoula Montana regions. They are members of the Calgary 3rd Ward, Calgary Alberta West Stake.
"We've been caught up in the war since the beginning," said Elder Rosenvall. He added that he applauded President Bush's call for days of prayer and thanksgiving. "It took courage in today's secular age," he noted.
Heather, who, along with her sister, is a citizen of both Canada and the United States, said the ringing of the bell symbolizes "the end of the war."