“Report of the 157th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, May 1987, 1
“What a blessing it would be if every family would read together 3 Nephi, discuss its sacred contents, and then determine how they can liken it unto themselves and apply its teachings in their lives,” said President Ezra Taft Benson during the opening session of April general conference.
“Third Nephi is a book that should be read and read again,” said the President.
Returning to this theme, President Benson underscored in his closing address the importance of latter-day scripture when he said: “The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ. The Doctrine and Covenants brings men to Christ’s kingdom, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ‘the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.’”
In addition to this inspired counsel to read and apply the truths of latter-day scripture in our lives, President Benson challenged priesthood holders concerning home teaching:
“Brethren, home teaching is not just another program. It is the priesthood way of watching over the Saints and accomplishing the mission of the Church.
“Home teaching is not just an assignment. It is a sacred calling.
“Home teaching is not to be undertaken casually. A home teaching call is to be accepted as if extended to you personally by the Lord Jesus Christ. …
“There is no greater Church calling than that of a home teacher,” said President Benson. (See pages 4, 48, and 83 for articles.)
President Benson presided at the two-day general conference. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor, conducted the sessions. All General Authorities were in attendance except President Marion G. Romney, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, and Elder John H. Vandenberg, an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who were ill.
Administrative action at the conference included the sustaining of eight new members to the First Quorum of the Seventy, “for a period of five years,” said President Monson, and a new counselor in the Young Women general presidency.
Those sustained were Elder George R. Hill III and Elder John R. Lasater, originally from Utah; Elder Douglas J. Martin of New Zealand; Elder Alexander B. Morrison of Canada; Elder L. Aldin Porter of Idaho; and Elder Glen L. Rudd, Elder Douglas H. Smith, and Elder Lynn A. Sorensen, all of Utah. The action brought to sixty-two the number of members serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy. (See articles starting on page 88.)
Sustained in the Young Women general presidency as counselors to President Ardeth G. Kapp were Sister Jayne B. Malan, first counselor (she has been serving as second counselor), and newly called Sister Elaine L. Jack, second counselor. Sister Maurine J. Turley was released to serve with her husband in his calling as mission president.
Conference proceedings were televised via satellite to many gatherings of Church members throughout the United States and Canada. Videotapes of conference will be made available to members in most other parts of the world.
On Friday, April 3, a Regional Representatives’ Seminar, held for regional representatives and stake presidents, took place during the day and a leadership meeting took place in the evening. (See page 96.)—The Editors.