With all the insults leading up to and during the annual Utah-BYU football game dubbed the "Holy War" and the Mormon vs. anti-Mormon carping on the comment boards attached to Salt Lake Tribune stories and columns, I witnessed an inspiring moment Friday night.
It was during the vigil at the Cathedral of the Madeleine for longtime Tribune publisher Jack Gallivan, who died last week at 97.
Gallivan was an iconic Catholic in Utah. Besides leading roles in numerous economic development and tourism advancements, his many contributions to his church included campaigns to renovate the exterior and interior of the cathedral where his service was held.
But he also was a bridge-builder and spent a lifetime working to forge understanding and friendship between the different religions and cultures in the state.
So, as the service was in progress, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson walked in, accompanied by one assistant, and quietly sat down in a pew. When the formal service was over, Gallivan's son Mickey walked over to the LDS leader, gave him a hug and took him by the arm to Gallivan's casket, where Monson stood in silence for several minutes.
On the way out, he greeted well-wishers who acknowledged his presence in the Catholic cathedral on the eve of LDS General Conference. He repeatedly said of Gallivan: "He had my back, I had his back. We were a great team."
His official statement released after learning of Gallivan's death said: "Jack and I were friends for more than 50 years. We worked together on countless newspaper matters and numerous community projects. Over the years we became as close as brothers."
The Catholic civic giant and the Mormon prophet should serve as examples for us all.
Wrong place, wrong time • Congressman Jim Matheson was enjoying a casual moment at the Harmon's grocery store near City Creek when, suddenly, he walked into somewhere he didn't want to be.
He had just purchased a drink and was strolling on the store's 2nd level where there are tables and chairs and often used for small receptions. He approached an area where about a dozen people were congregating near a table with juices and light breakfast food. And there were balloons and signs.
At first he seemed oblivious to what was going on, then he seemed to be processing what he was seeing.
Then it hit him.
He had walked into a Mia Love fundraiser, where some supporters of the Republican were ready to take a picture of him with their cellphones and post Facebook images of the congressman seemingly endorsing his opponent.
But he turned on his heels and walked out of the area before they could click the photos.
Southern Utah charm • Runners in the St. George Marathon on Saturday were greeted warmly by the locals as they ran the course, with residents displaying signs in their yards relating such positive messages as "You can do it" and "Toenails are for sissies."
Then, of course, reflecting the political culture of southwest Utah: "If Obama can run, so can you."