On April 24, 2015, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church, gave the keynote address at the inaugural John A. Widtsoe Symposium on the USC campus. The evening began with a small reception where President Uchtdorf was able to meet with local interfaith leaders and USC faculty and friends. Following, guests filled the historical Town and Gown Ballroom on USC campus where dinner was served and the main program took place.
After a warm welcome from Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life, Provost Michael Quick gave a brief synopsis of the rich religious history of USC. Dr. Lori Meeks, Chair of USC’s School of Religion, followed with an impressive summary of the significant happenings in the School of Religion. Ingrid Lazcano, of the LDS SoCal Public Affairs Executive Committee, introduced George Durham, grandson of John A. Widtsoe, and Alan Parrish, BYU Professor of Religion and Widtsoe biographer. Each spoke about the life of Dr. Widtsoe from very different but important perspectives. Larry Eastland, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, then warmly introduced President Uchtdorf.
President Uchtdorf gave a poignant speech concerning the importance of working together, as brothers and sisters, to promote good, to defend against evil and to increase our love for one another. You can find President Uchtdorf’s full, written address here and a synopsis of his address here.