Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) or Mormon Church invited him to attend the VIP open house of the LDS Manhattan Temple on Friday May 7, 2004. The special open house was for dignitaries and was by invitation only.
Congressman Faleomavaega joined Senator Harry Reid who is the Senate Minority Whip and the second highest Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate. They were joined by Republican Senator Gordon Smith who is the Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Long-term Growth and Debt Reduction as well as Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Competition, Foreign Commerce and Infrastructure. Faleomavaega, Democratic Senator Harry Reid, and Republican Senator Gordon Smith are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“My good friend, Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) were also in attendance. Congressman Rangel is one of the key players committed to extending IRS 936 benefits to our canneries in American Samoa and is one of my dearest friends in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “I was pleased to see him at the Manhattan New York Temple.”
“The Manhattan New York Temple is the 119th LDS temple worldwide and is located across from the Lincoln Center, one block west of Central Park at the corner of Columbus Avenue and 65th Street. The temple is 20,000 square feet and occupies the first, second, fifth and sixth floors of a building owned by the Church which also includes an LDS meetinghouse and stake center with offices, chapel, and classrooms.”
“In 2002, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told members that another new temple would be built in his lifetime in New York and with the completion of the Manhattan Temple his prophecy is now a reality. The Palmyra temple in NY was dedicated on April 6, 2000 and another LDS temple is planned for constructed in Harrison, NY.”
“As part of the special tour for dignitaries at the LDS Manhattan Temple, a video presentation was shown featuring people of all races emphasizing that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a church of inclusion. The Church has more than 12 million members worldwide including Democrats and Republicans,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not endorse political candidates or parties. The LDS Church is open to anyone who lives by its teachings. Like Senator Reid, a leading Democrat, and Senator Smith, a leading Republican, I am pleased to also be associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I thank the Church for inviting me to attend the special open house for dignitaries.”
“At this time, I also extend my deepest condolences to President Hinckley whose beloved wife recently passed away. On more than one occasion, I have had the opportunity to meet President Hinckley and my heart goes out to him as he is confronted with the loss of his life long companion. Like other members of the Church, I pray that President Hinckley will be blessed and sustained and I join with 12 million members worldwide in praying that he will also be comforted in this time of sorrow,” the Congressman concluded.