By CAMERON ALDE
BYU students walking by the Stepdown Lounge of the Wilkinson Center on Tuesday had mixed emotions when they were approached by representatives from the Gideon’s Association of Businessman and offered a small copy of the New Testament.
“Who are they?” asked Aaron Hutchins, a junior from Massachusetts, along with many other students.
“At first I thought they had snuck onto campus and were handing out anti-Mormon literature,” Hutchins said. “I relaxed when they explained they were just giving out Bibles and had support from the university.”
Chuck Silverblatt, one of the representatives from Salt Lake, said, “We all belong to Gideon’s, and the organization’s sole purpose is to give away Bibles to help spread God’s word.”
According to BYU’s coordinator of Student Programs, David Lucero, the Gideon representatives have been doing this for almost five years now.
“They first did it as part of the World Religion Week, and since that time they’ve requested to come back and hand out Bibles every year,” Lucero said. “Since their main point is to get people to read the Bible and believe in Christ, we see no reason not to give them permission.”
Don Bradley, a senior from Springville, told them he thought it was great that they distribute Bibles in motels and hotels.
Gideon representatives have been very busy lately, handing out 42,850,000 Bibles last year in 105 countries around the world, said Earl Gavaza, a representative from South Jordan.
“I’ve seen it make a difference,” Gavaza said of the Bibles’ impact. “Just like it has in my life.”