This year’s annual April general conference marked the beginning of two-day general conferences of the Church, altering the traditional three-day general conference format. (The first two-day conference was in 1831.)
Conference sessions were held on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3. President Spencer W. Kimball presided, with all sessions being conducted by a member of the First Presidency—President Spencer W. Kimball, President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor, and President Marion G. Romney, second counselor. Sermons were given by 27 of the General Authorities of the Church, including addresses by all members of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve.
Under the law of “common consent,” leaders and members of the Church in attendance from throughout the world sustained the actions of the First Presidency in a number of matters that affect the general administration of the Church:
Sustained three new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder G. Homer Durham and Elder James M. Paramore, both of Salt Lake City, and Elder Richard G. Scott of Maryland. (See pages 100–103 for biographical information.) This action raised to 41 the number of brethren now serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy and to 60 the number of General Authorities of the Church.
Sustained the calling of a Young Men’s presidency for the Aaronic Priesthood-age boys of the Church, but did not fill the positions. (See page 11 for the sustaining of officers, and page 105 for information related to this action.)
Sustained a change in the counselors of the Primary General presidency, with Sister Colleen B. Lemmon moving from second counselor to first, and Sister Dorthea Christiansen Murdock being sustained as second counselor. (See page 11 for the sustaining of officers and pages 103–4 for biographical information.)
Sessions were held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, and additional seating was provided in the Assembly Hall and in the nearby Salt Palace. The sessions were: Saturday, April 2, at 7:00 A.M. (welfare session), 10:00 A.M., 2:00 P.M., and 7:00 P.M. (general priesthood session, which was broadcast by closed circuit throughout much of the world); Sunday, April 3, at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. In addition, a seminar for Regional Representatives of the Twelve was held Friday, April 1. (See page 105 for a report.)
The sermons given at the conference and published in this issue were heard by more persons than were those of any previous conference in the history of the Church, with distribution of all or selected parts of conference being carried over 252 television stations in the United States and Canada; one television broadcast in the Philippines; 63 radio stations in the U.S.; 79 radio stations in It’s a Young Church in … Mexico, and Central and South America, of which 11 were in Brazil; and 42 radio stations in Australia; shortwave radio broadcasts of three sessions to Latin America, Africa, and Europe; closed circuit radio broadcasts to 118 locations in the United States and Canada and 111 European chapel locations; and closed-circuit broadcasts of the general priesthood session to 1,153 locations in the continental United States, Canada, It’s a Young Church in … Mexico, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and 37 locations in New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea.—The Editors.