More than 1,500 Church members - mostly from the Winnipeg Manitoba Stake and Fort Francis Ontario District - gathered in the stake center here Aug. 4 to hear President Hinckley speak during his first trip to Manitoba.

"I have never been here before," he said, adding, "I've seen it on the map. I knew it existed, but I've never been here."Some drove as many as six hours, each way, to attend the member meeting. In spite of the heat on this bright summer August day, some members lined up outside the building 12 hours before the meeting started. Seats in the chapel, cultural hall and stage were filled three hours prior to President Hinckley's arrival.

The 177-member youth choir, dressed in white tops and black skirts and pants, also waited three hours in the choir seats, watching a video of President Hinckley's life.

Winnipeg is made up of many ethnic groups, who have gathered in the city from many parts of the world. "You've come from all over the earth. There is a great diversity among you," President Hinckley said to the congregation. "I've been all over the world. I thought it was about time we came to Canada. I'm so glad you have come.

"You look so good to me. You people pray. You pay your tithing. You're good citizens. Thank you for being what you are."

President Hinckley then referred to last year's Red River Valley flood in the area to introduce his comments on pornography. "Be clean from the flood of pornography," he said. "There is not room in the lives of Latter-day Saints for pornography."

President Hinckley also talked about temple service.

"I have asked your stake president how far you go to the temple. Some drive 14 hours," he said. "Some time you will have a temple. But not now. Keep on driving. I urge everyone of you, don't wait for it."

"I just wanted to repeat, we love you," President Hinckley said. "Every man, woman, boy and girl in this Church is important. The Lord will bless you as you serve Him in righteousness."

As President Hinckley arose to leave the meeting, the choir and congregation stood and sang the hymn "God Be with You Till We Meet Again." The Church president stopped, listened, then walked to the exit, shaking hands with choir members as he left the room.

Laurel Genevieve Gross had the opportunity to shake President Hinckley's hand. "I saw him coming and I saw him shaking hands with the youth and I was right by the door. I knew he would shake my hand. I started to cry."