“My dearly beloved brethren and sisters, what a magnificent sight you are, this vast congregation of Latter-day Saints gathered together in this new and wonderful hall,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley at Saturday’s opening session of general conference as he welcomed nearly 21,000 members in attendance at the Church’s new Conference Center, located northward across the street from the Salt Lake Temple and Tabernacle.
“The organ is not completed, and there are various construction details yet to be attended to. But fortunately the work is far enough along that we are able to use it for this conference.” He added: “The building of this structure has been a bold undertaking. We worried about it. We prayed about it. We listened for the whisperings of the Spirit concerning it. And only when we felt the confirming voice of the Lord did we determine to go forward.”
Throughout the two-day conference, members rejoiced in the same remarkable spirit that always represents general conference: touching hymns, sensitive prayers of devotion to our Father in Heaven, powerfully instructive messages from the Lord’s servants, the unmistakably buoyant goodness of Church members, and the Spirit of the Lord that seems to enwrap all who participate.
At the close of the final session on Sunday, President Hinckley observed: “We have been present and have participated in the proceedings of the 170th general conference of the Church. We have for the first time used this great new building. We have been here April 1 and 2 of the year 2000, the opening of a new century and a great new millennium. There is something wonderfully significant about all of this. It is a time of new beginnings. … Let us study the ways of the Lord, reading His life and teachings in the sacred scripture He has given us. Let us take a little time to meditate, to think of what we can do to improve our lives and to become better examples of what a Latter-day Saint should be.”
Major administrative action consisted in sustaining nine Brethren to new callings in the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, two of the Brethren being called from the Second to the First Quorum, and 39 new Area Authority Seventies.
In his closing remarks, President Hinckley announced plans for six new temples to be located in Aba, Nigeria; Asunción, Paraguay; Helsinki, Finland; Lubbock, Texas; Snowflake, Arizona; and in the Tri-Cities area in Washington.
Conference sessions were transmitted throughout the world by radio and TV and over the Internet. Videocassettes of conference are available to Church units worldwide in many of the languages spoken by Church members.—The Editors