“Remember all thy church, O Lord,” prayed the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1836, “with all their families, and all their immediate connections, with all their sick and afflicted ones, with all the poor and meek of the earth; that the kingdom, which thou has set up without hands, may become a great mountain and fill the whole earth;
“That thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners” (D&C 109:72–73).
In the spirit of that great prophetic outlook and symbolic description of the Church’s mission, President Spencer W. Kimball encouraged leaders and members attending the April 1979 general conference with the assessment that “this impression weighs upon me—that the Church is at a point in its growth and maturity when we are at last ready to move forward in a major way. Some decisions have been made, and others pending, which will clear the way, organizationally. But the basic decisions needed for us to move forward, as a people, must be made by the individual members of the Church.”
Announcements at this conference reflected President Kimball’s remarks. Church government by councils was discussed extensively in the welfare session (see pages 86 and 89), where it was announced that regional, multiregional, and area councils of Church leadership have been approved to better meet the needs of the Church.
President Kimball presided throughout all sessions of the conference. Also conducting sessions were his counselors in the Quorum of the First Presidency, President N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor, and President Marion G. Romney, second counselor. In attendance were all the General Authorities of the Church.
Sessions were held Saturday, 31 March, and Sunday, 1 April, in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, and sermons were given by twenty-five of the General Authorities.
Portions or all of the conference sessions were broadcast by television to 180 United States and Canadian stations, to 7 TV satellite stations, to 800 cable TV systems, and to 2 cable TV video tape systems; by radio to 74 Latin American stations, to 65 United States stations, to 44 Australian stations, and to 30 New Zealand stations; by closed circuit audio in English to 567 chapels in the United States and Europe; in French, German, and Dutch to 81 chapels in Europe; in Spanish to 5 chapels in the United States; to 7 FM sideband stations; and by audio to 1599 closed circuit locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Korea for the general priesthood session.
In addition to the two days of general sessions, a seminar for Regional Representatives was held Friday, 30 March, in the Church Office Building (see page 104).—The Editors.