Jerry Johnston: My thanks to an elder and a cardinal

When I read earlier this month that Elder Richard P. Lindsay had passed away, I found myself spirited back to the first religion column I ever wrote for the Deseret News. It appeared on Feb. 22, 1997, and was about the death of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago.

But really, to me, it will always be about the generous spirit of Elder Lindsay.

He'd gone to Illinois for a conference when, to his surprise, Cardinal Bernardin grabbed his bags and began toting them upstairs.

"I can't have you do that," Elder Lindsay told him.

"Why not?" said the Cardinal. "We're brothers, aren't we?"

I spent the rest of that column singing the praises of Cardinal Bernardin. Then I sat back and waited for the letters (this was before e-mail) chiding me for using an LDS newspaper to crow about the holiness of a man from another faith.

No letters came in.

And in the 13 years I've been writing the column, they never have.

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