03122_000_002Sermons and proceedings of 5–6 April 1980, from the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, and from Fayette, New York
The day, a Tuesday, had been selected by revelation—April 6, 1830. The day’s purpose was to formally organize the kingdom of God on earth. And of that day the scriptures are not silent:
“The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April” (D&C 20:1).
This year’s general conference was an occasion for rejoicing—April 6 was Easter, the day mankind celebrates the Master’s resurrection; it was also the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the formal organization of the Church in Fayette, New York, under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
To commemorate this milestone in Church history, conference sessions originated from both Temple Square and Fayette, New York, where President Spencer W. Kimball and several other General Authorities flew following the opening Saturday, April 5 sessions.
Presiding at the conference sessions was President Spencer W. Kimball, and conducting were his counselors, President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor, and President Marion G. Romney, second counselor. Sessions originated from Salt Lake City on Saturday. The Sunday morning session opened at the Tabernacle then switched, via live television, to the interior of a replica of the Peter Whitmer farmhouse in Fayette, New York. The session then subsequently switched to a new meetinghouse which is part of the visitors’ center on the Whitmer farm. Following ceremonies and addresses from these two locations, the proceedings switched back to the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. A similar procedure occurred in the Sunday afternoon session when the live television coverage again switched to the Fayette farm meetinghouse for further proceedings and President Kimball’s closing remarks.
Also commemorating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Church was a special presentation by United States Postal Service authorities to Church leaders. The half-hour ceremonies, which followed the Saturday morning welfare session, marked the first-day issuing of a U.S. Post Card commemorating the Salt Lake Temple (see page 93).
In addition to focusing on the Sesquicentennial, Church leaders and members warmly received a Wednesday, April 2, announcement of seven new temples, and the announcement by President Kimball that “them now begins the most intensive period of temple building in the history of the Church” (see page 102).
Other developments at the conference included the sustaining of a new general Primary presidency—Sister Dwan Jacobsen Young, president, with Virginia Beesley Cannon, first counselor, and Michaelene Packer Grassli, second counselor.
All General Authorities were in attendance except Elder Theodore M. Burton and Elder Royden G. Derrick, both of whom were convalescing.
Portions or all of conference sessions were, as in past years, broadcast to many stations throughout the world.
Previous to the two days of general conference, a Regional Representatives seminar was held Friday, April 4 (see page 99).—The Editors.