Report of the 153rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Sermons and proceedings of October 1–2, 1983, from the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

“To Latter-day Saints throughout the world, and to men and women of goodwill everywhere: we greet you in the name of the Lord,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, as he opened the October general conference.

“We affirm before all men our belief in God the Eternal Father and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. This is the first article of our faith and the foundation of all of our work,” he said.

President Hinckley then noted that “we are particularly pleased to have with us … this remarkable man whom we sustain as a prophet of God, our prophet, seer, and revelator, our friend and leader, President Spencer W. Kimball.”

Both President Kimball and President Marion G. Romney, First Counselor in the First Presidency, were in attendance at the opening session on Saturday, October 1, and both were in attendance at a Sunday session. Neither President Kimball nor President Romney spoke, due to conditions of health.

Conducting the five general conference sessions—Saturday morning and afternoon sessions, Saturday evening priesthood session, and the Sunday morning and afternoon sessions—were President Hinckley and President Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Major developments associated with the conference were: (1) counsel by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve on home teaching and reactivation (see address by Elder David B. Haight, p. 39, and news story, p. 92); (2) sustaining of Elder Richard G. Scott of the First Quorum of the Seventy as a new member of the Presidency of that quorum, due to the appointment as Washington (D.C.) Temple president of Elder Franklin D. Richards, formerly of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy (see news, pp. 90, 91); (3) sustaining of Sister Ann Stoddard Reese as second counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency, following the release of Sister Shirley W. Thomas, the previous second counselor, now serving with her husband, who is president of the Australia Melbourne Mission (see news, p. 91).

Conference sessions were televised via West Star 4 satellite, Transponder 12D, to more than 600 gatherings of Church members in stake centers throughout the United States. The sessions, excluding the priesthood session, also were used by an estimated 2,000 cable television systems via the West Star 5 satellite, Transponder 12X. Also, closed-circuit audio of the sessions was transmitted via telephone lines to 1,153 locations in many parts of the world, including Australia, Philippines, Korea, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Canada. One or more of the sessions were also transmitted to a specially assembled network of commercial television and radio stations in the United States, of which 44 television stations and 42 radio stations carried part of conference as a public service. Videotapes of the conference are available in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, French, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, and Norwegian, and are sent to Church units in areas of the world where conference cannot be viewed or heard in any other way.—The Editors