President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was on hand Wednesday to greet the king and queen of Sweden on the grounds of the church's Stockholm Temple.
The royal couple paid their first visit to the 10-year-old temple as part of "Eriksgata," a Swedish tradition that dates back to the 13th century. The tradition began as a king traveled throughout the country to be met by citizens of every province.King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia selected the community, about 20 miles south of Stockholm, as the place for their visit for 1995. Their official tour included a 30-minute visit to the temple grounds.
President Monson presented gifts on behalf of the church. A two-volume history of the queen's family was presented to her, with copies for each of their three children. A replica of the statue "First Steps" was presented to the king. Each of the gifts reflected the church's appreciation for the royal couple's interest in the family, President Monson said.
President Monson and his wife, Frances Johnson Monson, walked with the king and queen from the temple grounds as the royal couple departed. Local church members lined the walkway and sang hymns to the royal couple. Elder Graham W. Doxey of the church's Quorums of the Seventy and president of the Europe North Area was also present.