12 Times U.S. Presidents Spoke in the Tabernacle

4. Woodrow Wilson

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Photo from When the White House Comes to Zion, courtesy of Ronald L. Fox

September 23, 1919

When President Woodrow Wilson arrived in Salt Lake City, he was not feeling well and canceled all of his scheduled appointments except for his Tabernacle speech and a meeting with Relief Society President Emmeline B. Wells, who had helped coordinate the government’s purchase of 200,000 bushels of wheat from the Relief Society during World War II. He would suffer a stroke less than one month later.

President Woodrow Wilson’s speech in the Tabernacle was an attempt to gain the support of the American people for the League of Nations—part of the peace treaty organized at the end of WWI. One notable quote that likely particularly resonated with the Latter-day Saints spoke of moral obligations:

“There is no force to oblige the United States to do anything except moral force. Is any man, any proud American, afraid that the United States will resist the duress of duty? I am intensely conscious of the great conscience of this Nation. I see the inevitableness, as well as the dignity and the greatness, of such declarations as President Grant has made aligning all the great organized moral forces of the world on the same side. It is inconceivable they should be on different sides.”
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