“Pride is the universal sin, the great vice,” declared President Ezra Taft Benson in his address opening the 159th annual general conference.
“The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.
“Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done,’” said President Benson.
“The antidote for pride is humility—meekness, submissiveness. It is the broken heart and contrite spirit,” said the President. (See pages 4, 6.)
President Benson presided at the two-day general conference. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the sessions.
In the Saturday afternoon session, President Monson announced historic administrative action. “With the continued rapid growth of the Church, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have determined that the time has come to take additional steps to provide for the expansion and regulation of the Church. We announce, therefore, the organization of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, to become effective immediately,” he said.
“The initial membership of the Second Quorum of the Seventy will be those General Authorities currently serving under a five-year call. Additional Brethren will be added to the Second Quorum of the Seventy from time to time and will serve as Seventies and as General Authorities also under a five-year call.
“The First Quorum of the Seventy will continue much as at present, with its members called from the Second Quorum of the Seventy or from the priesthood at large,” he said. (See page 17.)
This action resulted in 38 members from the First Quorum of the Seventy being retained in that quorum—including the current Presidency of the Seventy and Elder John K. Carmack and Elder Hans B. Ringger, two Brethren who had previously been called to five-year service. In addition, four new Brethren were added to the First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Joe J. Christensen, president of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho; Elder W. Eugene Hansen of Salt Lake City; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, president of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and Elder Marlin K. Jensen of Huntsville, Utah. This brought the total membership of the quorum to 42. (See pages 88 to 91.)
The formation of the Second Quorum of the Seventy resulted in 28 Brethren who are serving under a five-year call being assigned to the new Quorum. In addition, eight new Brethren were added to the Second Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Carlos H. Amado of Guatemala City, Guatemala; Elder Ben B. Banks, president of the Scotland Edinburgh Mission; Elder Spencer J. Condie of Provo, Utah; Elder F. Melvin Hammond of Rexburg, Idaho; Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen of Salt Lake City; Elder Richard P. Lindsay of Salt Lake City; Elder Merlin R. Lybbert of Salt Lake City; and Elder Horacio A. Tenorio of Guadalajara, Mexico. This brought the total membership of the quorum to 36. (See pages 92 to 99.)
Both quorums of the Seventy will be presided over by the Presidency of the Seventy, making a total of 78 Seventies and a total of 101 General Authorities at present.
Conference proceedings were broadcast by satellite to North America and Hawaii in twelve languages. Test transmissions of the conference were also beamed to locations in Manchester, England; Frankfurt, West Germany; and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Videotapes of conference will be made available to members in most other parts of the world.
Preceding general conference were a Regional Representatives’ seminar and other leadership meetings, held on Friday, March 31.—The Editors