“This is an age of pessimism. Ours is a mission of faith. To my brethren and sisters everywhere, I call upon you to reaffirm your faith, to move this work forward across the world. You can make it stronger by the manner in which you live. Let the gospel be your sword and your shield,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley in his October 1 Sunday morning general conference address.
“Each of us is a part of the greatest cause on earth. Its doctrine came of revelation. Its priesthood came of divine bestowal. Another witness has been added to its testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is literally the little stone of Daniel’s dream which was ‘cut out of the mountain without hands [to] roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth’ (D&C 65:2),” he declared.
Conducting the Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October 1, two-day general conference sessions were President Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust, First and Second Counselors, respectively, in the First Presidency.
One week prior to the conference, President Hinckley announced at the September 23 general Relief Society meeting a historic and official Proclamation of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles focusing on the family unit and calling upon “responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society” (see p. 101).
Major conference administrative action occurred in the Saturday afternoon session.
Announced during the summer was the release of Elders Rex D. Pinegar and Charles Didier from the Presidency of the Seventy and the appointment of Elders Jack H Goaslind and Harold G. Hillam to the Presidency of the Seventy (see Ensign, Sept. 1995, p. 74); this action was sustained at conference. In addition, Elders Ted E. Brewerton and Hans B. Ringger of the First Quorum of the Seventy were given emeritus status; Elders Eduardo Ayala, LeGrand R. Curtis, Helvécio Martins, J Ballard Washburn, and Durrel A. Woolsey were released as members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy; and released was the Sunday School general presidency (who are all brethren of the Seventy) of Elder Charles Didier, president; Elder J Ballard Washburn, first counselor; and Elder F. Burton Howard, second counselor. Sustained as the new Sunday School general presidency were these brethren of the Seventy: Elder Harold G. Hillam, president; Elder F. Burton Howard, first counselor; and Elder Glenn L. Pace, second counselor (see p. 22).
At the general priesthood session on Saturday evening, President Hinckley announced that temples will be built in Boston, Massachusetts, and White Plains, New York, with “the possibility of another in Venezuela,” and that “additionally, we are working on six other sites. It is a tremendously ambitious program. I have a burning desire that a temple be located within reasonable access to Latter-day Saints throughout the world,” he said (see p. 52).
Videotapes of general conference are sent to Church units where transmission of conference is not available.—The Editors