“These semiannual conferences of the Church are unique and remarkable occasions when Latter-day Saints gather with listening ears and understanding hearts to counsel together and to hear those who have been called of God with a responsibility for the work in this dispensation,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, as he opened the first general session of this year’s October general conference, held October 6–7, 1984.
“We are united with a common bond of faith and testimony. Jesus Christ stands at the head of the Church of which we are members. The Church bears his name. It is his Church. We are honored to be a part of it,” President Hinckley testified.
Presiding at the two-day conference was President Spencer W. Kimball, who attended three of the five general sessions. Also in attendance at a session was President Marion G. Romney, First Counselor in the First Presidency. Conducting the conference sessions were President Hinckley and President Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Administrative action of the conference occurred in the first general session Saturday morning. Elder Marion D. Hanks of the First Quorum of the Seventy was sustained in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a change occasioned by the appointment of Elder Royden G. Derrick of that presidency to serve as president of the Seattle Temple. Also sustained in the session were three new members to the First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder John Sonnenberg of Elmhurst, Illinois; Elder F. Arthur Kay of Bellevue, Washington; and Elder Keith W. Wilcox of Ogden, Utah. (See pages 100 to 104 for articles.)
Previous to the sustaining of the three new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, President Hinckley said, “It is deemed necessary to call three additional members of the First Quorum of the Seventy who will serve on a non-lifetime basis, as was established last April in the call of the other brethren to this quorum, and who will serve ordinarily for periods of three to five years.” The addition of the three new quorum members brings the membership of the First Quorum of the Seventy to fifty-six, seven of whom are General Authorities Emeritus.
Also sustained at the conference were counselors to Relief Society general president Barbara W. Winder: Joy Frewin Evans, first counselor, and Joanne Bushman Doxey, second counselor. Sustained as counselors to Young Women general president Ardeth G. Kapp were Patricia Terry Holland, first counselor, and Maureen Johnson Turley, second counselor. The appointments of these counselors had been announced some month previous.
Conference proceedings were televised via satellite to more than nine hundred gatherings of Church members in stake centers throughout the United States and Canada. Portions of conference were also relayed through numerous cable television systems and many commercial television and radio stations.
Prior to general conference, on Saturday evening, September 29, a general women’s meeting was held in the Tabernacle. Women and girls ten years and older gathered in the Tabernacle and in meetinghouses in many places throughout the Church to view the proceedings by television or satellite transmission. See pages 89 to 99 for texts of addresses given at this meeting.—The Editors.