Shortly after Air Force One landed at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base (HAFB), President Barack Obama made his way to the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City where he met with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This is Obama’s first time visiting the Beehive state and Yahoo reports that White House spokesman Eric Schultz stated the president was looking forward to his visit. “The president is pleased to meet with top LDS leaders as so many presidents before him have done,” Schultz explained.
President Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, and Elder L. Tom Perry and D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are among the Church leaders who participated in the meeting with Obama. President Thomas S. Monson was unable to participate in the meeting with the commander in chief, according to Deseret News. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins explained, “Because of the need to preserve his strength for this weekend’s general conference, it was felt that the logistics of meeting… would regrettably not be conducive to President Monson’s participation.”
Obama showed appreciation for the Church’s efforts in seeking a balance between religious freedoms and non-discrimination, particularly in regards to the LGBT community. Acording to Mormon Newsroom, the religious leaders discussed with America’s president about society’s need for strong families. During the 20 minute meeting, the conversation also briefly turned to immigration.
The president is scheduled to hold a round-table discussion and speech at HAFB this morning prior to departing on Air Force One, around 11:30 AM (MST).