New General Authorities Called and Six New Temples Announced

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    While the new Conference Center was the focus of much attention during the 170th Annual General Conference, many other indicators of spiritual growth and progress in the Church were evident as well. Two members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were sustained to the First Quorum, two other men were called and sustained to the First Quorum, and five Brethren were sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy. In addition, 39 new Area Authority Seventies were sustained, and plans were announced for six new temples.

    Elder Lance B. Wickman and Elder Lynn G. Robbins were sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy during the Saturday afternoon session. Elder Wickman, a lawyer who serves as the Church’s general counsel, was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy on 2 April 1994. Elder Robbins, a businessman before being called to full-time Church service, had been serving in the Second Quorum of the Seventy since 5 April 1997.

    Also sustained as new members of the First Quorum were Elder Donald L. Hallstrom and Elder Ronald A. Rasband. Sustained as new members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were Elder Douglas L. Callister, Elder Darwin B. Christenson, Elder Keith Crockett, Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie, and Elder Robert C. Oaks. (See accompanying biographical articles.)

    The 39 new Area Authority Seventies are from throughout the world: 16 from the United States; 4 each from Brazil and the Philippines; 3 each from Colombia and México; and 1 each from Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Guatemala, Japan, Peru, Sweden, and Tahiti.

    During his closing remarks on Sunday afternoon, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that new temples will be built in Aba, Nigeria; Asunción, Paraguay; Helsinki, Finland; Lubbock, Texas; Snowflake, Arizona; and the Tri-Cities area of Washington state. “So we shall go on in the process of bringing temples to the people,” he said.

    President Hinckley spoke of the planned dedications of the Palmyra and Fresno temples during the week following general conference, then added: “We plan on dedicating altogether 36 new temples in the year 2000. I think we will accomplish all we set out to do. Quite a number of others in construction or announced will not be completed until 2001 or 2002.”

    Following the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions of conference, many Church members were able to enjoy a video production titled Special Witnesses of Christ, in which members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared their testimonies of the Savior. Their testimonies were recorded in Salt Lake City, at other Church historic sites, and in the Holy Land. Special Witnesses of Christ will be translated into 26 languages and will be available at Church distribution centers (item number 53584).