Anti-protester Jared Diehl gave out "free hugs" to passersby near the Latter-Day-Saints Conference Center on Sunday in hopes of discouraging the many anti-Mormon protesters near by.
Many anti-Mormon protesters held signs with anti-Mormon remarks on them and shouted to the Mormons who were walking into the Conference Center for the semi-annual LDS meeting. Even though Diehl's sing read "Free Hugs",some passersby did not acknowledge Diehl and what he had to share because he blended in with the rest of the protesters.
However, his unusual sign did receive attention and he was giving out hugs left and right. Diehl's mission was simply to spread the love among the crowd.
"There are protesters that come every year and I think that it brings a negative effect," Diehl said. "People put on a defense before they come to conference and I don't think that putting up this shield, blocking your surroundings, is good for bringing spirituality into a conference like that."
Some of the anti-Mormon protesters showed their discouragement from the attention Diehl received by dropping their signs and walking away. He was afraid that people would get the wrong idea by his sign and think he was anti-Mormon himself. Quite the opposite, though, he wanted to show his Christianity through love.
Diehl said, "I want to bring a more positive tradition and that's giving out free hugs."
Check out this video of Jared Diehl's "Free Hugs"