- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mormon leaders on Monday presented President Obama with detailed volumes of his family history during a private White House meeting.

Mr. Obama said he enjoyed the session and was grateful for the genealogical records, which he said he would read through with his daughters, Malia and Sasha.

“It’s something our family will treasure for years to come,” Mr. Obama said.

The Oval Office meeting, arranged by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, included Thomas Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder Dallin Oaks, chairman of the LDS Church genealogical committee. Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat and a Mormon, also attended.

“LDS Church leadership has met with previous presidents and presented them with genealogical records detailing their family history,” White House aides said.

A source said the church presented Mr. Obama with five large leather-bound volumes that go through generations of the president’s familyon his mother’s and father’s sides. Mr. Obama’s father was born in Kenya. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was from Kansas. The records did not include information about first lady Michelle Obama’s family.

The church described the meeting to reporters as a “courtesy visit.”

Several prominent church members attended the Obama inauguration six months ago.

The visit came as a small but vocal group continues to question Mr. Obama’s citizenship with unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the legitimacy of the president’s birth certificate. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Mr. Obama’s mother was baptized posthumously into the Mormon church by a member in 2007, according to researcher Helen Radkey. The president did not discuss that issue with the Mormon leaders Monday, White House aides said.

According to the Deseret News in Utah, Mr. Obama canceled a campaign visit to Salt Lake City before Super Tuesday in 2008 because it coincided with funeral services planned for LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

He does not have any Mormons serving on his faith advisory council, but White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the faith-based office has met with LDS leaders and “looks forward to continuing its engagement with the church in the future.”

Republican Mitt Romney, a potential 2012 challenger for Mr. Obama, is Mormon.

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