“President Benson has suggested that I commence this conference … and convey to listeners and viewers far and near his greeting, his love, and his blessing,” said President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency at the Saturday morning opening session of the 160th Annual General Conference of the Church.
“I join President Benson, and know that I reflect the feelings of President Hinckley and all other General Authorities as well, in declaring our love for Heavenly Father’s children everywhere. Perhaps never in history has the need for cooperation, understanding, and goodwill among all people—nations and individuals alike—been so urgent as today. It is not only fitting—it is imperative—that we emphasize the ideal of brotherhood and the responsibility true brotherhood confers upon us all,” said President Monson on behalf of President Benson. (See page 4.)
Although he did not speak at this conference, President Ezra Taft Benson was present and presided at all sessions. His two counselors, President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor, and President Monson, Second Counselor, conducted the sessions.
Speaking on behalf of President Benson in the Sunday closing session of conference, President Hinckley said, “President Benson, who is now in his ninety-first year, feels that he could not stand and address us, but I wish to say that we have been greatly uplifted by his very presence. …
“As we close this conference,” said President Hinckley, “I am confident he would have me say to each of you in his behalf, ‘I love you, my brethren and sisters. I bless you in the great work which you are doing in living the gospel of Jesus Christ and in carrying out His teachings.’” (See page 88.)
Administrative action occurred in the Saturday afternoon session when ten new members were sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, the General Relief Society presidency was released, and a new Relief Society presidency was sustained. A new counselor was sustained also in the Young Women General Presidency. (See pages 100–111.)
Called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy were Eduardo Ayala of Santiago, Chile; LeGrand R. Curtis of Salt Lake City; Clinton L. Cutler of Draper, Utah; Robert K. Dellenbach of Salt Lake City; Harold G. Hillam of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Kenneth Johnson of Norwich, England; Helvécio Martins of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Lynn A. Mickelsen of Idaho Falls, Idaho; J Ballard Washburn of Page, Arizona; and Durrel A. Woolsey of Stockton, California. These new Brethren, who serve under a five-year call, bring to thirty-eight the number in the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Released as the Relief Society General Presidency were President Barbara W. Winder; Joy F. Evans, first counselor; and Joanne B. Doxey, second counselor. Called to serve as the new Relief Society General Presidency were Elaine L. Jack, president, with Chieko N. Okazaki, first counselor, both of Salt Lake City, and Aileen Hales Clyde, second counselor, of Springville, Utah.
President Jack’s call required her release as second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency. Called to serve as the new second counselor in the Young Women organization was Janette C. Hales of Provo, Utah. President Ardeth G. Kapp and Jayne B. Malan continue in the Young Women as president and first counselor, respectively.
Also announced was the release of David M. Kennedy, special representative of the First Presidency, and his assistant, Blaine C. Tueller. Brother Kennedy has served as special representative since 1974. (See page 112.)
Sessions were broadcast throughout the world via satellite and other transmissions in English and fifteen other languages. Videotapes of conference are provided to members throughout the world where live or delayed transmission of conference is not available.—The Editors