“Report of the 166th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, May 1996, 1
“In the prayer of dedication at the Kirtland Temple,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley in his Sunday afternoon remarks closing the annual April general conference of the Church, the Prophet Joseph Smith “petitioned the Lord in these words: ‘Remember all thy church, O Lord, … that thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ (D&C 109:72–73).
“We are witnessing the answer to that remarkable pleading,” said President Hinckley. “Increasingly the Church is being recognized at home and abroad for what it truly is. … We go forward, marching as an army with banners emblazoned with the everlasting truth. We are a cause militant for truth and goodness,” he said. “Everywhere we go we see great vitality in this work. There is enthusiasm wherever it is organized. It is the work of the Redeemer. It is the gospel of good news. It is something to be happy and excited about.”
Earlier in the Sunday morning session, on the same theme President Hinckley said: “I am thankful for every member of this Church who walks in faith and faithfulness. We are all in this together, as Latter-day Saints, bound by a common love for our Master, who is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. We are a covenant people who have taken upon ourselves His holy name.”
Conducting the two-day general conference sessions on Saturday and Sunday, 6 and 7 April, in addition to President Hinckley, were his two counselors in the First Presidency, President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, and President James E. Faust, Second Counselor.
Major conference administrative action occurred in the Saturday afternoon session. Sustained were four brethren to the First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Merrill J. Bateman, released as Presiding Bishop in November 1995 when called to the First Quorum of the Seventy at the time of his appointment as president of Brigham Young University; Elders Dallas N. Archibald and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, both from the Second Quorum of the Seventy; and a new General Authority, Elder Bruce C. Hafen of Orem, Utah. Also sustained were eight new General Authorities to the Second Quorum of the Seventy: Elders L. Edward Brown of Pocatello, Idaho; Sheldon F. Child of Salt Lake City; Quentin L. Cook of Hillsborough, California; Wm. Rolfe Kerr of Provo, Utah; Dennis E. Simmons of Las Vegas, Nevada; Jerald L. Taylor of Colonia Dublan, Chihuahua, Mexico; Francisco J. Viñas of Madrid, Spain; and Richard B. Wirthlin of Salt Lake City. (See pages 100 to 105.)
Announced at conference by President Hinckley was the decision of the Brethren to build “a dedicated house of worship” on the block immediately north of Temple Square, “a hall which will seat three or four times as many” as the Tabernacle.
Videotapes of general conference are sent to Church units where transmission of conference is not available.—The Editors