Salt Lake City has been named the 2013 Bible City of the year by the National Bible Association, a more ecumenical organization than other Evangelical groups with the same goal of raising Bible reading awareness. As reported on the Church News website:
The National Bible Association, which named Salt Lake City its National Bible City for 2013, will host a Concert of Praise for God’s Word in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Saturday, November 23, at 7:00 p.m.
The program will include Bible readings by Hollywood actress Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and her husband, producer Mark Burnett (The Voice). The program will also feature musical performances by the Singing Sensations, a gospel choir from Baltimore, Maryland; Jewish Cantor Emmanuel Perlman; the Salt Lake University Institute Singers; and the BYU Singers.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will attend and give remarks. . .
An article about the designation and activities in the Salt Lake Tribune further stated:
To those who question lumping Mormonism into that tradition, the group’s president, Richard Glickstein, simply asks: “Do Mormons read the Bible? Then they are part of the tribe.”
“Mormons do read the Bible,” explains Philip Barlow, chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University, noting that the Good Book makes up half the church’s four-year scripture-study curriculum.
In fact, the King James Version is part of LDS canon. Of course, members believe in additional scripture as well, including the faith’s signature work, the Book of Mormon.
There will also be a Public Bible Reading at the Utah State Capital rotunda Monday November 25th at 12:00 p.m. The state Governor Herbert and Randy Rigby, President of the Utah Jazz, will be among others of prominence that will attend the reading.
According to the association website, “National Bible Association’s signature event, National Bible Week, has been celebrated the week of Thanksgiving every year since 1941. Our goal is to encourage everyone to read the Bible and raise awareness of the Bible’s importance and relevance to our nation as a whole, as well as in the lives of individuals.”
At least one Mormon, Ahmad S. Corbitt, is part of the trustees for the association. He did not take part in the actual decision of where would be named “City of the Bible” for this year. No notices have been given if the events will be broadcast by multi-media, although attendance is expected to be high. Although Salt Lake City has, like everywhere in the United States, no one religion that everyone follows; Mormonism is considered the dominant faith. What an honor to be part of a tradition that wants to include rather than exclude people who believe The Good Book inspired Joseph Smith Jr. to go into a grove of trees to fully experience God’s Word.