“How our beloved prophet and President, Ezra Taft Benson, would enjoy standing at this pulpit to open a glorious conference of the Church. President Benson, we love you, we pray for you, we are anxious to follow your inspired direction,” said President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, at the Saturday opening session of the Church’s 162nd Annual General Conference.
“This morning I pray for heavenly help as I respond to President Benson’s assignment to speak in his behalf. I shall attempt to express his thoughts and counsel, largely in his own words,” President Monson continued.
Included in that counsel were suggestions for parents:
“1. Take time to always be at the crossroads in the lives of your children, whether they be six or sixteen.
“2. Take time to be a real friend to your children.
“3. Take time to read to your children. …
“4. Take time to pray with your children.
“5. Take time to have a meaningful weekly home evening. Make this one of your great family traditions.
“6. Take time to be together at mealtimes as often as possible.
“7. Take time daily to read the scriptures together as a family.
“8. Take time to do things together as a family.
“9. Take time to teach your children.
“10. Take the time to truly love your children.” (See pages 4 and 5.)
Though President Benson did not speak at conference, he was able to attend the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions.
Conducting conference sessions were President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President Monson.
Conference administrative action occurred in the Saturday afternoon session with the release of the Young Women general presidency of President Ardeth G. Kapp; Jayne B. Malan, first counselor; and Janette C. Hales, second counselor.
Sustained as the new Young Women general presidency were President Janette C. Hales; Virginia H. Pearce, first counselor; and Patricia P. Pinegar, second counselor.
During the Sunday afternoon general session, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of President Benson’s “personal witness of the Son of God, whose servant he is … : ‘He is the God of this world, under the Father. In his life, all the virtues were lived and kept in perfect balance; he taught men truth—that they might be free; his example and precepts provide the great standard—the only sure way—for all mankind.’”
Said President Hinckley, “Such is the testimony of our prophet and our leader. When all is said and done, I remind you that this is our great mission—to bear witness to the world, both with example and precept, of the living reality of the Son of God, the resurrected Lord, who is our Redeemer and our Savior.” (See page 89.)
Sessions of conference were broadcast throughout the Northern Hemisphere in English and in sixteen other languages. Videotapes of conference are sent to Church units where live or delayed transmission of conference is not available.