Report of the 168th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Sermons and proceedings of 3–4 October 1998 from the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah

“No matter where we are, no matter our circumstances, we all can be faithful Latter-day Saints,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley at Saturday’s opening session of general conference as he encouraged all Church members to listen carefully to conference messages.

“We can pray and worship the Lord in the privacy of our own closet. We can sing anthems of praise to the Almighty even when we are alone. We can study the scriptures. We can live the gospel. We can pay our tithes and offerings though the amount be ever so small. We can walk in faith. We can strive to live lives patterned after the life of our Master,” he said.

In Saturday’s evening priesthood session, President Hinckley said: “I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order. So many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes. In fact, some are living on borrowings. … There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.”

In counseling about debt President Hinckley said: “I recognize that it may be necessary to borrow to get a home, of course. But let us buy a home that we can afford and thus ease the payments which will constantly hang over our heads without mercy or respite for as long as 30 years. … I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can. … That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable.”

In his Sunday morning address, President Hinckley gave responses to “questions we are invariably asked by those of the media and other churches”—questions on the “Mormon doctrine of Deity, of God,” on homosexuality, abortion, polygamy, the growth of the Church, spouse and child abuse, and Church finances.

In Sunday’s closing session, President Hinckley noted that “in all likelihood we will have 100 or more temples operating in the year 2000.” Yet, he said, “We shall not stop at these. We shall go on building. We know there are so very many locations where they are needed in order that you, the faithful Saints of this Church, may go to receive your own blessings and to extend those blessings to those who have passed beyond the veil of death.”

Conducting the two days of conference sessions with President Hinckley were President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust, First and Second Counselors in the First Presidency respectively.

Sustaining three new members to the Presidency of the Seventy, noting the granting of emeritus status to four members of the Seventy, and sustaining changes in the Sunday School general presidency and the Young Men general presidency were part of Saturday’s afternoon general session.

Videocassettes of general conference are available for Church units that are not able to receive conference via televised transmission.—The Editors