Report of the 151st Annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Sermons and proceedings of 4–5 April 1981, from the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.)

To focus the efforts of Church leaders and members toward this overarching spiritual objective, President Spencer W. Kimball in the opening session of the April general conference of the Church announced the following: “As the Brethren of the First Presidency and the Twelve have meditated upon and prayed about the great latter-day work the Lord has given us to do, we are impressed that the mission of the Church is threefold:

To proclaim the everlasting gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people;

To perfect the Saints by preparing them to receive the ordinances of the gospel and by instruction and discipline to gain exaltation;

To redeem the dead by performing vicarious ordinances of the gospel for those who have lived on the earth.”

President Kimball encouraged leaders and members to hereafter measure their priorities and labors against “these sacred principles.” (see page 5.)

President Kimball presided at all conference sessions—four sessions on Saturday, April 4, and two sessions on Sunday, April 5. Conducting were President Kimball and President Marion G. Romney, second counselor.

Present were all sixty-eight General Authorities of the Church, including an additional member to the First Quorum of the Seventy sustained at this conference: Elder Angel Abrea of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the first South American to be sustained a General Authority. This action brings to forty-one the number of members in the First Quorum of the Seventy. It was also announced that Elder Abrea, presently mission president in the Rosario Argentina mission, will preside over the Church’s soon-to-be built temple in Buenos Aires. (See page 95.)

Several days preceding general conference, President Kimball announced plans to build nine additional temples in the United States, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. (See page 98.) In reference to temple construction, President Kimball said in conference “As the work progresses, there will be scores of temples throughout the world.”

During the conference sessions, frequent reference was made to present-day “difficult and trying experiences.” President Kimball said, “As we concern ourselves with basic economic needs … we must go back to basic principles”; “We have been counseled to conserve our resources and ease the financial burdens on our people”; “We must not overburden our people. With this in mind, the First Presidency has prepared a letter” containing “some guidelines to assist ward, stake, and mission leaders in complying with the counsel and direction given.” (See pages 78, 45, and 79 to 91.)

This emphasis on helping members to become self-reliant and on reducing costs to members was given extensive treatment in the Regional Representatives Seminar, Friday, April 3, and in an evening Tabernacle meeting on the same themes. (See page 96.) —The Editors