They Spoke to Us

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    Report from General Conference, April 2–3, 1988

    New Primary Presidency Called

    On April 2, 1988, the First Presidency of the Church announced the calling of a new General Presidency of the Primary. The new president is Michaelene Packer Grassli. Serving with her are Betty Jo Nelson Jepsen, first counselor, and Ruth Broadbent Wright, second counselor.

    President Ezra Taft Benson: “Children, do you pray for your parents? Do you try to support them in their noble endeavors? They will make mistakes, as you do, but they have a divine mission to accomplish in your life. Will you help them do so? Will you add honor to their name and bring comfort and support to them in their older years?” (Saturday morning session)

    President Ezra Taft Benson: “I pray that we will be obedient to God, learn His will and do it, and, above all, that we will keep the first and great commandment—to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

    “I testify to you that this is His work, that the kingdom of God has been restored, that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of the living God, and that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God.” (Sunday afternoon session)

    President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency: “We laud the captains and the kings, we praise the nations that are victorious against oppressors. We appropriately build monuments to remember their sacrifices and their triumphs over the forces of oppression. But great and important as are these achievements, none can compare with the victory of the lonely, pain-racked figure on Calvary’s cross who triumphed over death and brought the gift of eternal life to all mankind. …

    “He has come again in this period of history. In a manifestation without comparison, our Eternal Father and the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ appeared to open this ‘the dispensation of the fulness of times’ (D&C 112:30). He to whom they appeared became the prophet of this dispensation. And it was he who declared:

    “‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!’” (Sunday morning session)

    President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “Several years ago, the Salt Lake City newspapers published an obituary notice of a close friend—a mother and wife taken by death in the prime of her life. I visited the mortuary and joined a host of persons gathered to express condolence to the distraught husband and motherless children. Suddenly the smallest child, Kelly, recognized me and took my hand in hers.

    “‘Come with me,’ she said; and she led me to the casket. … ‘I’m not crying, Brother Monson, and neither must you. My mommy told me many times about death and life with Heavenly Father. I belong to my mommy and my daddy. We’ll all be together again.’

    “… To my young friend, … there would never be a hopeless dawn. Sustained by her unfailing testimony, knowing that life continues beyond the grave, she, her father, her brothers, her sisters, and indeed all who share this knowledge of divine truth, can declare to the world: ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning’ (Ps. 30:5).” (Sunday morning session)

    President Howard W. Hunter, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve: “As one called and ordained to bear witness of the name of Jesus Christ to all the world, I testify at this Easter season that He lives. … Following his crucifixion and death, He appeared as a resurrected being to Mary, to Peter, to Paul, and to many others. He showed himself to the Nephites. He has shown himself to Joseph Smith, the boy prophet, and to many others in our dispensation. This is his church; he leads it today through his prophet, Ezra Taft Benson. Of this I testify.” (Saturday morning session)