“Report of the 168th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, May 1998, 1
A joyous announcement came at the very end of this year’s 168th Annual General Conference. President Gordon B. Hinckley was speaking:
“In recent months we have traveled far out among the membership of the Church. I have been with many who have very little of this world’s goods. But they have in their hearts a great burning faith concerning this latter-day work. They love the Church. They love the gospel. They love the Lord and want to do His will. They are paying their tithing, modest as it is. They make tremendous sacrifices to visit the temples. They travel for days at a time in cheap buses and on old boats. They save their money and do without to make it all possible.
“They need nearby temples—small, beautiful, serviceable temples.
“Accordingly, I take this opportunity to announce to the entire Church a program to construct some 30 smaller temples immediately. They will be in Europe, in Asia, in Australia and Fiji, in Mexico and Central and South America and Africa, as well as in the United States and Canada. They will have all the necessary facilities to provide the ordinances of the Lord’s house.
“This will be a tremendous undertaking. Nothing even approaching it has ever been tried before. …
“If temple ordinances are an essential part of the restored gospel, and I testify that they are, then we must provide the means by which they can be accomplished. All of our vast family history endeavor is directed to temple work. There is no other purpose for it. The temple ordinances become the crowning blessings the Church has to offer.
“I can only add that when these [temples] are built, there will be more yet to come.”
President Hinckley’s thrilling announcement at the end of the Sunday afternoon session was a capstone to a conference filled with inspiring, motivating, and instructive addresses by Church leaders.
Conducting the two days of conference sessions were President Hinckley, President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
Significant administrative action occurred in Saturday’s afternoon session when 3 brethren from the Second Quorum of the Seventy were sustained as members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, 13 brethren were called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, and 16 brethren were sustained as Area Authority Seventies (see “The Sustaining of Church Officers,” p. 20, and “News of the Church,” pp. 103–9, for more information).
Videocassettes of general conference are sent to Church units where transmission of conference is not available.—The Editors