“New Mission Presidents Trained,” Ensign, Sept. 1978, 77
It was the largest group of new mission presidents ever. Seventy-two of them, recently called to preside over 44 percent of the missions of the Church, met June 19–23 for five full days of workshops and instruction.
The Language Training Mission in Provo, Utah, provided the appropriate missionary atmosphere for the first four days of the seminar. There the new mission presidents attended general sessions and small group discussions. They were instructed by members of the Quorum of the Twelve in such matters as motivating missionaries, the conversion process, and interviewing and teaching skills. Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy gave addresses and led discussions on such topics as the organization and supervision of missionaries, building the missionary’s confidence and trust, study techniques, missionary leadership skills, and the use of the scriptures.
The wives received instruction on such topics as nutrition, missionary health care, and their role as mission presidents’ wives.
Unique to this year’s seminar was the participation of all of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, except Elder Delbert L. Stapley, who is ill. The new mission leaders also met with Zone Advisors and General Authority Area Supervisors.
A special highlight of the seminar was a testimony meeting in the solemn assembly room of the Salt Lake Temple. President Spencer W. Kimball, who had addressed the group earlier, spoke to them again at that time.
“The entire seminar was a beautiful experience,” commented Elder Carlos E. Asay, executive director of the Missionary Department.
During the next three years, the seventy-two new mission presidents will collectively serve m thirty-one countries, teach the gospel in seventeen languages, and preside over approximately 35,000 missionaries.