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Religion: conserver of truth, the conserver of values

DENVER, Colo. — After addressing 6,500 people as part of a Colorado effort to build "Bridges to the Future," President Gordon B. Hinckley participated in a question and answer session. The questions, written and prepared in advance, were selected and read by the Reverend Peter D. Eaton, rector and dean of Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral.

Following are some of those questions and President Hinckley's answers:

Question: Should religious leaders offer advice to political leaders and should political leaders seek or accept such advice?

President Hinckley: I think they would be well advised. They ought to accept the judgment of religious leaders who have at heart the interest of the nation.

Question: Give your view of the most effective ways to establish peace in our troubled world.

President Hinckley: Peace begins with the individual. It is cultivated in the family. And if there is peace in the hearts of the children, there will be peace among the people of the nation. The great need of this world is getting along with one another, recognizing each other as sons and daughters of God and living together as brothers and sisters, under the Father. That, in the last analysis, is the only way to hope, I think, for continued peace in the world.

Question: Is it your view that religion is a unifying or a dividing element in our culture and society?

President Hinckley: Whether it is or not, it should be a unifying element in our culture. Religion is the conserver of truth, it is the conserver of values, and without it we would find ourselves drifting. If there is anything this old world needs, it is people who look to heaven for wisdom and go to work to improve life among its people.

Question: Is there an accomplishment of your life of which you are most pleased?

President Hinckley: There are some accomplishments in which I am pleased, yes. I don't know, but I hope I have made a little difference somewhere. I don't know, but I hope I may have touched some heart for good. I don't know, but I hope I may have given hope and encouragement and some measure of strength to some of those I have met along the way who are struggling and trying to do the right thing against terrible odds and frightening circumstances. I hope that as I have traveled along through life, I have reached down and tried to lift someone and give a better perspective on what can happen when people turn their faces in the right direction, trust in the Lord and go forward.