To Latter-day Saints, the word conference has come to intimate much of that which is most dearly cherished by us as a people. The context of our conference experience tells us that the word has come to mean the burning of the witnessing Spirit upon our souls, the swelling of grateful hearts, the trickling of unfeigned tears, the clear stroke of forceful ideas upon our minds, and the supportive excitement of seeing revered leaders and choice acquaintances. To us, conference is indeed a special—almost sacred—word, and its meaning is amplified continually anew as we meet in our conferences of the ward, the stake, and the general Church.
The 145th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was another of the beautiful conference experiences of the Church. It was held Friday, April 4, through Sunday, April 6, 1975, in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Presiding at all conference sessions was President Spencer W. Kimball, prophet, seer, and revelator, presiding high priest of God on earth, and twelfth president of the Church. President Kimball has now served as president for 15 months since being ordained president on December 30, 1973.
The Tabernacle was filled with Church leaders and members from throughout the world. Overflow seating was provided in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square and in the Salt Palace on a block adjacent to Temple Square. Presiding over these gatherings of conference attenders at the Assembly Hall and Salt Palace during conference sessions were selected General Authorities who rotated the assignment.
As in the past, seven general sessions were held: Friday, April 4, at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.; Saturday, April 5, at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M., and the 7:00 P.M. general priesthood meeting; and Sunday, April 6, at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.
Sunday was the 145th anniversary since the organization of the Church on April 6, 1830, and thus is derived the name of this conference—the 145th Annual General Conference of the Church.
During the Friday morning session, President Kimball presented the names of four additional Assistants to the Council of the Twelve—Elder William Grant Bangerter, Elder Robert Dean Hales, Elder Adney Yoshio Komatsu, and Elder Joseph Bitner Wirthlin, thus raising the number of General Authorities to 49, and the number of Assistants to the Twelve from 19 to 23. All General Authorities of the Church were in attendance at the conference except four. (See page 3 for further information.)
During Friday afternoon’s general sustaining vote, two new general officers were sustained for the Sunday School. Released as counselors to Sunday School President Russell M. Nelson were Joseph B. Wirthlin, first counselor and newly called Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, and Richard L. Warner, second counselor, newly called as a Regional Representative of the Council of the Twelve. Sustained as new counselors in the Sunday School presidency were B. Lloyd Poelman, first counselor, and Joe J. Christensen, second counselor. Also sustained in the Friday afternoon session were a new Tabernacle Choir president and conductor. Isaac M. Stewart was released as Tabernacle Choir president, effective September 1; sustained as new Tabernacle Choir officers were Oakley S. Evans, president, and Jerold D. Ottley, conductor.
The sessions of this conference—all or selected sessions—were carried extensively in the United States and Canada, over many radio and television stations, originating with station KSL in Salt Lake City. Through satellite transmission, selected sessions of conference were heard in countries of Mexico, Central and South America, and Australia: For the first time, selected sessions were carried over television in Samoa and the Philippines. Countries in Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia were able to receive selected sessions over international shortwave radio. The general priesthood conference held Saturday was transmitted over closed circuit lines to 210,000 priesthood holders assembled in approximately 980 buildings in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
In addition to the seven sessions of general conference, the following other general sessions and meetings were held: April 2–3, Primary general conference for Primary leaders; April 3–4, Sunday School general conference for Sunday School leaders; April 3, a seminar for Regional Representatives of the Council of the Twelve; and April 5, a Welfare Services meeting.
This issue of the Ensign contains in chronological order the addresses and proceedings of the general conference sessions. It also contains, beginning on page 115, news of the announcements and presentations associated with this conference and the seminar for Regional Representatives of the Council of the Twelve, Welfare Services meeting, Sunday School general conference, and Primary general conference.