“I hope I will not sound presumptuous in reminding you of the unique and tremendous system of redundancy and backup which the Lord has structured into His kingdom so that without interruption it may go forward, meeting any emergency that might arise and handling every contingency with which it is faced. To me, it is a wondrous and constantly renewing miracle,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, in his remarks during the Sunday morning general session of the Church’s 162nd Semiannual General Conference.
President Hinckley noted that President Ezra Taft Benson “has reached an age where he cannot do many of the things he once did. This does not detract from his calling as a prophet. But it places limitations upon his physical activities. …
“But I can say that … the work goes forward in an orderly and wonderful way. As it was during the time when President Kimball was ill, we have moved without hesitation where there is well-established policy. Where there is not firmly established policy, we have talked with the President and received his approval before taking action.”
In discussing the counsel of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, President Hinckley said: “As Brethren, we discuss various problems that come before us. Each man is different. We speak from various backgrounds and experiences. We discuss ways to improve and strengthen the work. At the outset of these discussions, there may be various points of view. But before the discussion is ended, there is total unanimity, else no action is taken. The Lord himself declared that such unity is an absolute necessity.
“Is this a different kind of government? It is the government of the kingdom of God on the earth. It is unique in its organization. It is a system under which, if one man is unable to function due to illness or age, the work does not stumble or falter.”
Though President Benson did not attend sessions of the conference, he monitored them via television to his apartment.
Conducting the sessions were President Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
Conference administrative action occurred in the Saturday afternoon session with the release of Elders Marion D. Hanks and Robert L. Backman of the Presidency of the Seventy and their designation as emeritus members of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Released from the Second Quorum of the Seventy were Elders George R. Hill III, John R. Lasater, Douglas J. Martin, Glen L. Rudd, Douglas H. Smith, and Lynn A. Sorensen. Also released were Bishops Henry B. Eyring and Glenn L. Pace, first and second counselors in the Presiding Bishopric; they were subsequently sustained to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy. Sustained to replace them in the Bishopric were Bishops H. David Burton, first counselor, and Richard C. Edgley, second counselor, both Brethren from metropolitan Salt Lake City. Previously announced by the First Presidency and sustained in this conference were the callings of Elders Charles Didier and L. Aldin Porter to the Presidency of the Seventy. Sustained as members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were the four Brethren whose calls were also previously announced by the First Presidency in midsummer; and sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy were the fifteen Brethren whose calls had been previously announced by the First Presidency. (See Ensign, Aug. 1992, p. 74.) In addition to this action, changes were made in the general presidencies of the Sunday School and Young Men. (See pages 21 and 101.)
Of great interest also was the announcement by President Hinckley of the purchase of property for the construction of temples in Hong Kong; Hartford, Connecticut; and Utah County. (See pages 21 and 102.)
Sessions of conference were transmitted over Church satellite network to more than three thousand locations. Simultaneous language translations were provided in fifteen non-English languages. Videotapes of conference are sent to Church units where transmission of conference is not available.—The Editors