“I take the opportunity this morning to advise briefly of the progress we are making toward the goal of 100 working temples in the year 2000,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley at Saturday’s opening session of general conference.
“Since the first of this year we have dedicated [eight] temples. … Between now and the end of the year, we will dedicate … seven more. At the conclusion of 1999, we anticipate that there will be 68 operating temples. …
“Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of nonmembers have attended the open houses associated with these new temples. They have done so with reverence and respect. In many cases, the temples are, without question, the finest buildings in the cities in which they are located. People marvel at their beauty. But among many things, they are most impressed with pictures of the Savior they see in these holy houses. They will no longer regard us as a non-Christian people. They must know that the central figure in all of our worship is the Lord Jesus Christ. …
“We shall go on with the work of dedication next year. It will be a very busy season. We anticipate the dedication of perhaps as many as 42 more. When we finish the year 2000, if present plans materialize, we will have not only the 100 which we have striven for, but more beyond that.
“We shall not stop then. We may not build at the same pace, but we shall go on for as long as the Lord wills that it be done.”
Sunday afternoon, President Hinckley noted, “As today we close the doors of this Tabernacle and look forward to opening the doors of the new Conference Center next April, we do so with love, with appreciation, with respect, with reverence—really with affection—for this building and for those who have gone before us, who built so well, and whose handiwork has served so long.”
Earlier in the day, he observed: “Let the old year go. Let the new year come. Let another century pass. Let a new one take its place. Say good-bye to a millennium. Greet the beginning of another thousand years.
“And so we shall go forward on a continuing path of growth and progress and enlargement, touching for good the lives of people everywhere for as long as the earth shall last.
“At some stage in all of this onward rolling, Jesus Christ will appear to reign in splendor upon the earth. No one knows when that will be. Not even the angels in heaven will know of the time of His return. But it will be a welcome day.”
Conducting the two days of conference sessions were President Hinckley and his Counselors in the First Presidency, President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust.
Radio and television transmission of conference proceedings occurred as in the past. New this conference were live audio and video broadcasts available throughout the world via the Internet. Videocassettes of general conference are available for Church units worldwide.—The Editors