“Report of the 146th Semiannual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, Nov. 1976, 1
Long remembered will be the General Conferences of 1976—the April conference for the addition to scripture of two important revelations, and the October conference for the “reconstitution of the First Quorum of Seventy” by calling “all of the Assistants to the Twelve into the First Quorum of Seventy,” calling “four new members into that quorum,” and reorganizing “the First Council of the Seventy.”
In the words of President Spencer W. Kimball, “With this move the three governing quorums of the Church defined by the revelations—the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the First Quorum of Seventy—have been set in their places as revealed by the Lord.” (See pages 9–10, 134–35.)
Not since the early days of the Church has there been a First Quorum of Seventy at the general Church level, and thus not since then has there been a third “governing quorum” at the general Church level.
Presiding at the conference was President Spencer W. Kimball, Presiding High Priest over the Church. Sessions were held Friday, October 1, at 10:00 A.M., in which the announcement of the changes was made and the sustaining of officers was done; Friday at 2:00 P.M.; Saturday, October 2, at 7:00 A.M. (welfare session), 10:00 A.M., 2:00 P.M., and 7:00 P.M. (general priesthood session); Sunday, October 3, at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.; In addition to these general sessions, a seminar for Regional Representatives of the Twelve was held Thursday, September 30.
Sessions were held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, and overflow seating provided in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square and in the nearby Salt Palace.
The action taken in the sustaining of the officers in the Friday morning session brought about the reassignment of twenty-seven previously called General Authorities, and also the calling of four new General Authorities—three to the First Quorum of Seventy (Elders Dean L. Larsen, Royden G. Derrick and Robert E. WElls), and one as a new second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, Bishop J. Richard Clarke (see pages 136–39 for biographical information), thus raising the total number of General Authorities to fifty-eight.
Sessions of the conference—all or selected parts—were carried over 170 television stations in the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, 31 of which were on delayed broadcast. Radio broadcasts included: 61 radio stations in the United States and Canada; 85 closed-circuit radio broadcasts in the United States and Canada; 68 radio stations in Mexico, and Central and South America; and 45 Australian radio stations, which carried a half hour of conference. Shortwave radio broadcast three sessions to Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Also, 100 European chapel locations carried direct cable for two sessions in English, and a second session in French, Dutch, and German; and 1,101 locations received the priesthood session in Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Canada, and the United States, with 33 other locations receiving the session in Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan.—The Editors