'We offer our prayers in behalf of the innocent victims'
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The First Presidency released the following statement on Sept. 11 after attacks were made on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington:
"In this hour of sorrow, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expresses profound sympathy to those whose loved ones, friends and associates were lost or injured in today's senseless acts of violence. We offer our prayers in behalf of the innocent victims of these vicious attacks. We ask our Heavenly Father to guide President Bush and his advisors as they respond to these devastating incidents.
"We join with others in prayers that the Savior's peace and love will comfort and guide us all through this difficult time.
"The resources of the Church will be made available to any relief agency requesting assistance."
Sacrament meeting memorial service
Out of respect for the many who lost their lives or were injured in the terrorist attack Sept. 11, the First Presidency suggested that the sacrament meeting for Sunday, Sept. 16, become essentially a memorial service and a time for expressions of faith in the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God, which extends to all men.
The First Presidency directed that the prayers, music and talks should reflect sorrow for those who have lost loved ones and the promise of the immortality of the soul that comes of the gospel.
Members are asked to be made aware of this solemn occasion that they might give appropriate homage to the bereaved and injured.
Donations to American Red Cross
The Church is donating $160,000 to assist the American Red Cross in its response to terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Sept. 11.
Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of the Church, said $150,000 will be given to the National Office of the American Red Cross to assist with search and rescue work, emergency food and shelter, or other needs arising from the terrorist activities in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Another $10,000 will go to the American Red Cross chapter in Salt Lake City to offset its costs in helping stranded travelers obtain food and shelter in Utah.
"Mission presidents have been instructed to take appropriate actions for the protection of their missionaries.
"All missionaries in the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas are safely accounted for.
"Twenty-one missionaries left Salt Lake early this morning headed for New York. The plane landed in Denver where they are staying until further notice. Other missionaries who departed from Salt Lake City early this morning have landed safely within the United States.
"All other missionaries scheduled to leave from Salt Lake City today have returned to the Missionary Training Center until further notice."
"Church Security is taking appropriate measures and cooperating with public safety officials. All Church headquarters facilities are open."
"Offers from Church members and others to donate their time and means to provide relief following today's disasters are appreciated; however, rather than calling or traveling to Church facilities to make such offers at this time, members of the Church should wait for specific requests from Church leaders. Any appropriate humanitarian response is still under consideration, pending further assessment of needs."