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Mormon president gives Obama a family tree

July 20, 2009 at 5:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- Mormon church leaders presented U.S. President Barack Obama a detailed family tree Monday during a private meeting in Washington.

The meeting was the first time Obama met with Thomas Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday. Monson was escorted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, the highest ranking Mormon in the government, and accompanied by Dallin Oaks, chairman of the religious organization's genealogical committee.

"I enjoyed my meeting with President Monson and Elder Oaks," Obama said in a statement after the meeting. "I'm grateful for the genealogical records that they brought with them and am looking forward to reading through the materials with my daughters. It's something our family will treasure for years to come."

Church leaders have traditionally presented presidents with genealogical breakdowns, giving similar reports to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Tribune reported. However, church officials said none of their previous genealogical reports was as varied Obama's, whose mother was from Kansas and whose father from Kenya. Previous ancestral examinations uncovered Irish and German lineage, too.

The meeting was arranged by Reid.

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