Salt Lake City, bordered by the Wasatch Mountains to the north and east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west, was founded by a group of Mormons led by Brigham Young; the city remains the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Skiing is a popular tourist attraction for the “Crossroads of the West” which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. This city of just over 186,000 residents has a metro area ten times that size and is the epicenter for industrial banking in the United States. Temple Square, home to the iconic symbols of the Mormon tradition—the Salt Lake Temple and the Salt Lake Tabernacle—dominates the religious landscape of the city; however, a diversity of traditions is evident throughout the city in, among others, the presence of eight Buddhist communities, four Islamic mosques, and three Pagan organizations.
The interfaith infrastructure of Salt Lake City offers unique and often innovative approaches to facilitating understanding across religious difference. Such initiatives include Quilters without Borders, an interfaith quilting circle; and the Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy which seeks to “build respect, good will, and trust between people in religious or ideological disagreements” by “taking the opportunity to speak forthrightly the truth one holds dear and listening carefully to different points of view.” Utah Interfaith Power and Light, profiled in this section, promotes understanding of different faiths and environmental concerns through its annual “Music and Sermon Awards.”