On July 15, the Sons of Utah Pioneers held an outdoor picnic at Riverside Park. Andrew Skinner, a noted historian and author from Brigham Young University, was the guest speaker accompanied by his wife Janet.
Skinner spoke on the history of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Center and Bob Petersen sang “The Holy City.”
Skinner spent a great deal of time at the Jerusalem Center and has written over 200 articles on Church historical topics. He helped put together the Bible maps of the Holy Land and Jerusalem that appear in the Scriptures.
He spoke about the history of ancient Salem. “This has been, and always will be, a sacred anthem of the Jewish people,” said Skinner. He also related the history of Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. According to Islamic history, Jerusalem was the place where Mohammed ascended to heaven.
The Jewish people have fought to retain their place in Jerusalem. In 1948, the United Nations partitioned Israel as a homeland for the Jews following their destruction at the hands of Hitler. Skinner spoke of continuing efforts to allow different religions to maintain a place of worship at Jerusalem.
Skinner spoke of the establishment of the Jerusalem Center on Mount Scopus by the LDS Church. The Church was given a 99 year lease for the property and has constructed a beautiful learning/cultural center on the mount overlooking the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount. Of late this center has become a beacon to all inhabitants and visitors to Jerusalem.
Anyone wishing to get a complete transcript of Skinner’s address should contact Alan Turner at 801-876-3066.