President Monson Encourages Members to Follow Jesus Christ

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News associate editor

  • 14 April 2015

President Thomas S. Monson waves good-bye to the congregation at the end of the final session of the 185th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sunday, April 5, 2015, in Salt Lake City.  Photo by Tom Smart, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • As he spoke in conference over Easter weekend, President Thomas S. Monson reminded members to follow Jesus Christ.
  • President Monson also announced three new temples.
  • Five new General Authorities, four general auxiliary leaders, and 53 new Area Seventies were also called this conference.

“May our Heavenly Father bless us that we may have the spirit of temple worship, that we may be obedient to His commandments, and that we may follow carefully the steps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” —President Thomas S. Monson 

During the Church’s 185th Annual General Conference—the last five sessions of which were held on Easter weekend—President Thomas S. Monson asked more than 15 million Church members across the globe “to follow Jesus Christ.”

“Let us consider our callings; let us reflect on our responsibilities; let us determine our duty,” he said.

More than 120,000 Church members gathered March 28 and April 4–5 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City to hear Church leaders offer counsel and direction.

Crowds filled the 21,000-seat Conference Center and overflow areas on Temple Square for each of the conference sessions, which were translated into more than 75 languages and broadcast to more than 170 countries and territories. In addition, proceedings were available on the Internet, cable television systems, and radio and television stations.

President Monson presided at the conference. His counselors in the First Presidency, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, took turns conducting the sessions.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, under the direction of Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, provided music for three of the five sessions of conference held April 4–5. A young single adult choir from stakes in Utah’s Davis and Weber Counties, directed by Sonja Sperling, provided music for the Saturday afternoon session.

A priesthood choir from Brigham Young University, under the direction of Ronald Staheli, provided music for the priesthood session. Clay Christiansen, Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, Linda Margetts, and Bonnie Goodliffe accompanied the choirs on the organ.

During his address in the Sunday morning session, President Monson announced plans to build new temples in Bangkok, Thailand; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

“For the past two years as we have concentrated our efforts on completing previously announced temples, we have held in abeyance plans for any additional temples,” President Monson explained. “This morning, however, I am very pleased to announced three new temples. … What marvelous blessings are in store for members in these areas and indeed wherever temples are located throughout the world.”

Church members sustained five new General Authorities, four new general auxiliary leaders, and 53 new Area Seventies during the Saturday afternoon session of conference.

Called as General Authorities to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy are Elder Kim B. Clark, Rexburg, Idaho; Elder Allen D. Haynie, San Diego, California; Elder Von G. Keetch, Salt Lake City, Utah; Elder Hugo Montoya, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; and Elder Vern P. Stanfill, Kalispell, Montana.

Called as members of the Young Men general presidency are Brother Stephen W. Owen, president; Brother Douglas D. Holmes, first counselor; and Brother M. Joseph Brough, second counselor.

A new counselor was called to the Primary general presidency to replace Sister Jean A. Stevens, who will serve with her husband in the England London Mission. Sister Rosemary M. Wixom will continue to serve as president, Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, who previously served as second counselor, will serve as the first counselor, and Sister Mary R. Durham has been called as second counselor.

“May our Heavenly Father bless us that we may have the spirit of temple worship, that we may be obedient to His commandments, and that we may follow carefully the steps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” said President Monson. “I testify that He is our Redeemer.”