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Glenn Beck urges Utahns to trust in God
Caleb Warnock - DAILY HERALD
At time wiping tears from his cheeks, at times shouting jubilantly, conservative talk show host Glenn Beck admonished a crowd at UVU on Saturday night to trust God during the global economic storm.

"Know who you are, know what you got here, know what makes you so great, know what makes you so strong. It is your values," Beck told a crowd of a thousand gathered to hear him. "It is your commitment to do the hard thing, your commitment to God. In God we trust."

Star of the fastest-growing TV show on cable in addition to a successful radio show, Beck became the first-ever recipient of the Pioneer in Leadership Award on Saturday, created by the Utah Valley Chapter of the BYU Management Society "to recognize those that exemplify the pioneer spirt of courage in adversity and integrity in leadership."

Beck closed the evening by speaking on the power of choice. He was preceded by a VIP $2,000-a-table dinner in his honor. The public, paying $20 per ticket, then entered the McKay Events Center on UVU campus to hear a handful of singers before hearing Beck's speech. The event was a scholarship fundraising event.

Beck received a standing ovation as he took the podium just after 9 p.m. He spoke for over an hour.

Weeping, Beck challenged the audience to remember the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"It is the best America has ever been in my lifetime, so when I warn you something is coming, something wicked this way comes, the economy is not healthy, this is not going to pass without great life-changing pain, you could focus on that or focus on what you could become because of it.

"We will pull together and stand shoulder to shoulder, we will become compassionate, we will be Americans again, we will be in it together, it will be a great and glorious time to raise our children. It will bring us closer, if we choose."

At times, Beck's message was aimed directly at a Mormon audience.

"I am a child of God with the power of the priesthood," Beck asked his audience to remember about themselves. He continued by urging the audience to be a shelter and leader for others.

"I am an American; I know tomorrow will be better because I am," he said, to a standing ovation at the close of his speech.

Following the ovation, Beck took the podium again.

"My family and I pray for you," he said with emotion. "We ask you to pray for us. We have a great amount of power. It is all within our grasp."

Beck began his speech not with an autobiographical sketch but with a biography of the audience. Saying many people feel they know him because of his celebrity status, Beck said he felt he knew his audience.

"I may not get a chance to listen to you but I think I know who you are," he said, saying the audience works hard, is careful with their money while being worried about the economy, compassionate "yet you find yourself almost constantly ****** off by lazy people," feels uneasy with the direction of the country, is dissatisfied with both candidates for president, and wonders what is true.

"I'm here to tell you the problems are not as big as you think they are," Beck said. "Some are a lot bigger, but the solutions are not that hard."

Americans have become "convinced that our voice does not really matter because it is just little old me and one person cannot make a difference," he said. "We are convinced that one person cannot affect change."

Beck said that for two years he has been warning of impending financial collapse. That collapse is the result of "ridiculous choices" and a failure to exercise common sense.

Beck said he had personal knowledge of collapse, noting he is a recovering alcoholic.

"I did just about everything I could to destroy myself and kill myself," he said, noting that at one point doctors told him he had eight months to live. "Here is a moment of hope. I'm still here ... never lose hope ... we are going to survive and thrive and pull ourselves back up, and we are going to be Americans."

Beck told those gathered to take inspiration from the obstacles faced not only by the founders of the country but of the Mormon pioneers. The difference between losers and failures is that failures try again until they find success.

Beck wept when speaking of how George Washington inspires him, and spoke emotionally several times of having conversations with God, asking in whom Beck could trust. Audience members wiped tears from their own eyes as he spoke, nodding their agreement.

"We can have hope because God is bigger than any mountain, God is stronger," he said. "Those mountains can fall, those mountains can move. God does not. That should provide us with tremendous hope. We must not fear, for is God is on our side, nothing will conquer us, but we have to be careful."

Kimball and Brooke Roundy of Cedar Hills were among the fans in the crowd. The couple said they came to hear Beck speak because of his honesty.

"I really enjoy Glenn Beck and what he is doing," Kimball said. "He is speaking about truth and what is really going on in the world, as opposed to the rest of the media -- they don't necessarily report truth but what they are told to report."

Roundy said he has been watching Beck on television for a year.

"Everything I hear from him is right, as opposed to the other stuff I hear, which is less than the truth," he said.

Mark and Darcy Jacobs came from Bountiful for the event because Beck espouses their conservative values.

"Glenn Beck is a true American," Mark Jacobs said. "He is concerned about standing up for the values that formed our nation, and defending the Constitution and the principles of the Constitution. He is outspoken in America, making us aware of what is going on."

Beck has influenced Jacobs's choices, "by helping me understand some of the positions of the candidates [for president] that I did not understand before," Jacobs said.
 
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