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LDS share pioneer traditions

The family history center here has been inundated in past weeks with new patrons as a result of the Church's participation in a recent community event where diverse faiths came together to share religious traditions.

The "Festival of Faiths," held in Louisville Gardens and sponsored by Cathedral Heritage Foundation, premiered in November 1996 and because of overwhelming community response was repeated in 1997. Local Church members have participated both years, this year highlighting the Pioneer Sesquicentennial.The 1997 festival mission statement was, "To celebrate the diversity of our faiths, be grateful for our unity and strengthen the role of religion in society."

In 1996, the Church's booth was the most visited of the 44 participants. Therefore, this year the Church was granted a larger display area to accommodate both the sesquicentennial exhibit, highlighting our "faith and forefathers" theme, and family history computers.

Among the visuals were professionally designed story boards overviewing significant events of the sesquicentennial, including text, narratives and photographs of Kentuckians who were part of the 1997 pioneer trek re-enactment. In addition, the displays depicted local service projects as part of the Pioneer Heritage Service Day.

Of particular interest in the exhibit was a handcart shipped from "This Is the Place Monument" in Salt Lake City, courtesy of Church Public Affairs. The handcart, built by Theodore E. Moore of Marshfield, Mo., was pushed and pulled during the re-enactment trek by his daughter, Beverly Woods, and his grandchildren, Tiffany and Rebecca Woods.

Displayed on the handcart were period antiques including a shawl worn during the 1847 exodus by Philanda Upson Standley, great-grandmother of Sherrie Kearl of Louisville.

During the closing ceremonies of the Festival of Faiths at the Cathedral of the Assumption, members of the various faiths carried banners. However, instead of a banner, Church members pulled the handcart. J. Andrew White of the Kentucky 3rd Ward, dressed in period clothing, pulled the handcart, along with his daughters, Hannah, Susanna and Christina.

Visitors to the display included school children, both public and parochial; nuns, priests, who used the family history computers; and monks. Local news media and the Public Broadcasting Service covered the exhibit. In addition, city, county and state officials, as well as corporate executives, visited the exhibit.