BETA

Thai visitors meet First Presidency

Gaining appreciation and improving understanding purpose of four-day tour

A statue, "representative of Thai culture," was presented to the First Presidency March 22 by 14 Thailand government officials, visiting in Salt Lake City.

"The purpose of the trip was to improve appreciation and understanding between Thailand and the Church," said W. Boyd Christensen, director of Church hosting, who hosted the group during its four-day Utah trip.

The statue, presented to President Ezra Taft Benson, depicts two Thai warriors mounted on elephants and is representative of Thai art and history, Christensen said.

While in Utah, the group, headed by Chaiyapak Siriwat, secretary to the minister of Education, visited Temple Square, the Family History Library, the Museum of Church History and Art, and BYU.

They also met with Church and government officials at a reception.

"One of the most enjoyable parts of the visit was our trip to Snowbird, where the group got to ride the tram and throw their first snowball," Christensen said.

Another high point of their tour was an authentic Thai dinner, complete with Thai entertainment, Christensen said. The dinner, singing and dancing was provided by seven Thai members of the Laotian Branch in the Salt Lake Stake.

On March 23, members of the group left for Los Angeles, where they will tour additional Church facilities. The last part of their trip will be in Hawaii, where they will be guests at the BYU-Hawaii campus.

"The reaction of the group was most positive," said Christensen. "They were very appreciative and seemed to enjoy the whole trip."