The first week in April is always a historic week for Latter-day Saints. This is the week of our Savior’s birth, the time of his great atoning sacrifice and his triumphant resurrection, and, in this dispensation, it is the week the Lord called for the organization of his earthly church in preparation for his millennial reign as King of Kings.
This week is also the time of the annual April general conference of the Church—a time in which themes associated with the above events are discussed and underscored by the Lord’s appointed servants.
The 144th Annual General Conference was particularly significant because in a solemn assembly April 6, President Spencer W. Kimball was sustained as prophet, seer, and revelator, and twelfth president of the Church, due to the death of President Harold B. Lee on Wednesday, December 26, 1973. Sustained as counselors to President Kimball were President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor, and President Marion G. Romney, second counselor. President Ezra Taft Benson was sustained as president of the Council of the Twelve. Elder L. Tom Perry, an Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, was sustained as a new member of the Council of the Twelve, and Elder J. Thomas Fyans and Elder Neal A. Maxwell were sustained as Assistants to the Council of the Twelve.
As in the past, seven general sessions were held: Friday, April 5, at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 6, at 10:00 a.m. (solemn assembly), 2:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. (general priesthood meeting); and Sunday, April 7, at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
All General Authorities of the Church were in attendance except President Milton R. Hunter of the First Council of the Seventy who was convalescing in a Salt Lake City hospital.
Proceedings of conference sessions were given extensive coverage in the United States and Canada over many television and radio stations, originating with KSL in Salt Lake City.
Sessions were broadcast over 100 radio stations in Central and South America, Mexico, and Australia. Countries in Europe received broadcasts over international shortwave radio station HISD Dominican Republic.
Saturday morning and Sunday morning sessions were carried over oceanic cables to large numbers of members and friends assembled in chapels throughout Great Britain, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. These sessions were also videotaped and released to many television stations to be broadcast later in eastern and central United States, Hawaii, and U.S. Armed Forces bases throughout the Pacific.
Rebroadcasts of all conference sessions were carried to many parts of the world by KSL Radio in Salt Lake City, KMBZ Radio in Kansas City, Missouri, and KIRO Radio in Seattle, Washington. The general priesthood meeting was transmitted to more than 190,000 priesthood holders assembled in approximately 890 buildings throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia.
In conjunction with general conference, the following meetings were also held: April 3 and 4, Primary general conference for leaders of this auxiliary; April 4, a seminar for Regional and Mission Representatives of the Council of the Twelve; and April 6, a Welfare Services meeting for priesthood leaders.
This issue of the Ensign contains, in chronological order, the addresses and proceedings of the general conference sessions. It also contains news of the announcements and presentations associated with the general conference sessions, the seminar for Regional and Mission Representatives of the Council of the Twelve, and the Primary general conference.—The Editors