The attendance of President Spencer W. Kimball at selected sessions of the 152nd Annual General Conference of the Church buoyed both leaders and members at the recently completed April 3–4 sessions.
Speaking at the conference pulpit for the first time since April 1981, President Kimball said, in the final session, “I have waited for this day, and hoped for it and believed for it.” (See page 76 for his remarks.)
President Kimball was present and had prepared a text for the opening session, Saturday, April 3. The address was read by his personal secretary, D. Arthur Haycock.
In his opening remarks to the Saturday morning congregation, President Gordon B. Hinckley, counselor in the First Presidency, said, “President Kimball has been convalescing from surgery performed last September, and for several months has been meeting intermittently with his counselors. Also for several months he has attended and has spoken at the weekly temple meetings of the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. This, and the fact that he is with us today, is a testimony of the goodness of the Lord, the power of faith and prayer, and the endurance and strength of this great man to whom we express our love and best wishes.”
Conducting conference sessions were President Marion G. Romney, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Hinckley. President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor, was in attendance and also spoke at the concluding session. The conference included seven sessions—the welfare session, the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions, and the priesthood session—all on April 3; and the Sunday morning and afternoon sessions—both on April 4.
Major announcements and administrative actions associated with the conference were: (1) the announcement that single young elders will serve 18-month mission terms instead of the previous 24-month mission term (see page 103 for story); (2) a new policy on the construction, acquisition, operations, and maintenance of Church meetinghouses and meetinghouse sites, undergirded by the tithing faithfulness of Church members (see page 101 for story); and (3) the announcement three days prior to general conference of temples to be built in Denver, Colorado; Boise, Idaho; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Taipei, Taiwan (see page 104 for story).
All General Authorities were present for conference except Elder Eldred G. Smith, who was absent due to illness.
Preceding the two days of general sessions was a day of leadership meetings for Regional Representatives—on Friday, April 2—and a Regional Representatives, stake presidents, and bishops meeting Friday evening.
Conference proceedings in part or whole were broadcast in the United States over 115 commercial television stations, nearly 1,300 cable TV stations, and over 63 radio stations; and in Canada to 21 television stations. The priesthood session was broadcast in English to over 2,500 chapels in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Korea, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico by live, closed-circuit audio.
In addition, 90 stake centers in the U.S. used permanent satellite installations for conference reception.
Shortly after conference, two videotapes with audio translation were forwarded to areas that speak Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Italian.—The Editors.