Members of the Church were delighted to see President Ezra Taft Benson in attendance at the Saturday morning and Sunday morning sessions of the recent October general conference of the Church.
Conducting conference sessions were President Benson’s counselors, President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor, of the First Presidency, who on behalf of the First Presidency counseled Church members on a variety of matters.
Said President Hinckley in Sunday morning’s session: Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. There are the homeless, the hungry, the destitute. Their condition is obvious. We have done much. We can do more to help those who live on the edge of survival.
“We can reach out to strengthen those who wallow in the mire of pornography, gross immorality, and drugs. Many have become so addicted that they have lost power to control their own destinies. They are miserable and broken. They can be salvaged and saved.
“There are wives who are abandoned and children who weep in homes where there is abuse. There are fathers who can be rescued from evil and corrosive practices that destroy and bring only heartbreak,” he said. (See page 59.)
President Monson in the same session underscored related themes when he quoted a concerned district judge: “‘There is an alarming increase of reported physical, psychological, and sexual abuse of children. Our courts are becoming inundated with this repulsive behavior.’
“The Church does not condone such heinous and vile conduct. Rather, we condemn in the harshest of terms such treatment of God’s precious children. Let the child be rescued, nurtured, loved, and healed. Let the offender be brought to justice, to accountability, for his actions and receive professional treatment to curtail such wicked and devilish conduct. When you and I know of such conduct and fail to take action to eradicate it, we become part of the problem. We share part of the guilt. We experience part of the punishment,” he said. (See page 69.)
Administrative action of the conference occurred in Saturday’s afternoon session. Elders Han In Sang of Korea, Stephen D. Nadauld of Utah, and Sam K. Shimabukuro of Hawaii, who had been called as members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy following the April general conference, were sustained. Released from the same Quorum of the Seventy after five and a half years of “tremendous, faithful, devoted, and unselfish service” were Elders H. Verlan Andersen, George I. Cannon, Francis M. Gibbons, and Gardner H. Russell. (See pages 20 and 103.)
These releases occasioned also the sustaining of Brethren who will now serve as counselors in the Young Men and Sunday School general presidencies. (See pages 20 and 103.)
All General Authorities were in attendance at conference except Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone and Elder Helvécio Martins, due to illness.
Sessions of conference were broadcast throughout the Northern Hemisphere in English and fifteen other languages. Videotapes of conference are sent to Church units where live or delayed transmission of conference is not available.—The Editors