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SALT LAKE CITY 29 May 2008 President George W. Bush met with the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this morning at the Church’s headquarters in Salt Lake City.
This was President Bush’s fourth visit to Church headquarters and his first meeting with the new First Presidency. President Thomas S. Monson, along with his two counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, visited with President Bush for just under an hour.
“He meets with [the First Presidency] regularly and thinks that they have a good role to play in America, in terms of spreading the word of love,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said yesterday, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune. “I don’t think the president would ever pass up an opportunity to meet with the president of the Mormon church.”
Over the past eight years, President Bush has maintained a close relationship with the Church and its leaders. In 2001 he followed in the footsteps of his father, President George H.W. Bush, by inviting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at his inauguration.
In 2002 the president was greeted by the First Presidency before he attended the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games. He made subsequent visits to Utah in 2005 and 2006.
In 2004 President Bush awarded former Latter-day Saint leader Gordon B. Hinckley the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington, D.C.
"Other presidents have interacted with Mormon leaders. Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are among some of the presidents who have met or, in some instances, developed long-term friendships with Latter-day Saint leaders over the last 50 years. Five presidents have invited the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing at inaugurations".