Coverage of the April 2018 General Conference Saturday Afternoon Session

Contributed By Rachel Sterzer, Church News staff writer

  • 31 March 2018

President Russell M. Nelson is accompanied by his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, as we waves following the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 31, 2018. At left is President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Talk Summaries

In his first time conducting a session of general conference, President Dallin H. Oaks, newly sustained to the First Presidency, presented the names of general Church leaders for the members’ sustaining votes.

It was announced during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference on March 31 that Elder Carl B. Cook and Elder Robert C. Gay will serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, effective immediately, filling the vacancies left by the calls of Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon was released as a counselor in the Primary General Presidency to serve as the new Young Women General President following the release of Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Sister Carol F. McConkie, and Sister Neill F. Marriott. Sister Michelle Craig will serve as the new First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, and Sister Becky Craven will serve as the new Second Counselor. Sister Lisa Harkness will now serve as First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency.

Eight General Authority Seventies and 55 Area Seventies were also sustained.

President Russell M. Nelson greets members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church.

Two members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during the session, Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Dale G. Renlund. Elder Bednar said, “Meekness is an essential aspect of the divine nature and can be received and developed in our lives because of and through the Savior’s Atonement.” He promised listeners that “He will guide, protect, and strengthen us as we walk in the meekness of His Spirit.”

Elder Renlund said that Church members have a divinely appointed responsibility to seek out their ancestors and perform the ordinances necessary to redeem the dead. “[As] we participate in family history and temple work today, we also lay claim to ‘healing’ blessings promised by prophets and apostles.”

These include increased understanding of the Savior, feeling a greater influence of the Holy Ghost, strengthened faith, the ability and motivation to learn and repent, protection from temptations, and other incredible blessings.

Elder Taylor G. Godoy and Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, General Authority Seventies; Sister Oscarson, newly released Young Women General President; and Brother Devin G. Durrant of the Sunday School General Presidency also offered remarks.

A combined choir of institute students from throughout the Salt Lake Valley provided the music for the session under the direction of Marshall McDonald and Richard Decker and accompanied by organists Linda Margetts and Bonnie Goodliffe.

Elder Ulisses Soares, Elder Gerrit W. Gong, Elder Dale G. Renlund, and Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles chat before the start of the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Elder Ulisses Soares and Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles chat before the start of the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson greets his wife, Sister Wendy W. Nelson, as he and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, enter before the start of the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, greets President Russell M. Nelson as he arrives with his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, at the start of the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Young conference goers walk in front of portraits of the First Presidency before the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Conference goers rise and sing with the choir during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles greets people at the start of the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Conference goers rise and sing with the choir during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, speaks during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, former Young Women General President, speaks during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson, center, greets members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as he leaves at the end of the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Behind President Nelson are his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring, and other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Kristen, leave at the end of the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Spenser Heaps, Deseret News.

Conference goers walk to the Conference Center for the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

A combined choir from Salt Lake institutes of religion sings during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

A combined choir from Salt Lake institutes of religion sings during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Sister Neill F. Marriott, left, released from being Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency; Sister Michelle Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency; Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, General President of the Young Women; and Sister Becky Craven, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, interact during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Sister Lisa Harkness, left, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, Sister Joy D. Jones, President, and Sister Cristina B. Franco, Second Counselor, interact during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson, center, and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring, sing during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Freda Adei-Manu of Ghana sings during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Brother Devin G. Durrant, Second Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, speaks during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

A combined choir from Salt Lake institutes of religion sings during the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

President Russell M. Nelson waves as his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, greets Sister Harriet Uchtdorf following the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. At left is President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, waves as he leaves the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Behind are Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Patricia T. Holland. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Harriet, greet conference goers following the Saturday afternoon session of the Church’s 188th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2018. Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.