Report of the 166th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Sermons and proceedings of 5–6 October 1996 from the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

“As I go about from place to place I am interviewed by representatives of the media. Invariably they ask about the place of women in the Church. They do so in an almost accusatory tone, as if we denigrate and demean women,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley in his Sunday morning address at the recently concluded October semiannual general conference of the Church.

“I invariably reply that I know of no other organization in all the world which affords women so many opportunities for development, for sociality, for the accomplishment of great good, for holding positions of leadership and responsibility. … You sisters are the real builders of the nation wherever you live, for you have created homes of strength and peace and security. These become the very sinew of any nation.

“Unfortunately a few of you may be married to men who are abusive. Some of them put on a fine face before the world during the day and come home in the evening, set aside their self- discipline, and on the slightest provocation fly into outbursts of anger,” said President Hinckley.

“No man who engages in such evil and unbecoming behavior is worthy of the priesthood of God. No man who so conducts himself is worthy of the privileges of the house of the Lord. I regret that there are some men undeserving of the love of their wives and children. There are children who fear their fathers, and wives who fear their husbands. If there be any such men within the hearing of my voice, as a servant of the Lord I rebuke you and call you to repentance,” he said.

A day earlier, at the Saturday morning opening general session, President Hinckley remarked that “ours is the blessing to live in a better season. The terrible persecutions of the past are behind us. Today we are looked upon with respect by people across the world. We must always be worthy of that respect. We must earn it, or we will not have it,” he said.

Conducting the two-day general conference sessions of 5–6 October were President Hinckley and his two counselors in the First Presidency, President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, and President James E. Faust, Second Counselor.

During the Saturday afternoon general session, 10 brethren of the Seventy were honorably released from their callings—one given emeritus status in the First Quorum of the Seventy, and nine released from the Second Quorum of the Seventy at the completion of their more than five years of service; sustained were two changes in the Young Men general presidency. (See pages 102 and 103.)

Videotapes of general conference are sent to Church units where transmission of conference is not available.—The Editors