“A Time of New Beginnings,” Ensign, May 2000, 87
I’m sure you are rather weary of listening to me. I’ll do my best. What a wonderful conference this has been, my brethren and sisters. We have rejoiced in all that has occurred. The speakers have been inspired, every one of them. The music has been superb. The prayers have been beautiful and touching. We have been uplifted in every way as we have participated together.
There was a popular piece of music when I was young that said, “The song is ended but the melody lingers on.”1
I pray that will be the case with this conference. When we leave, I hope we will have pleasant recollections and fond memories of this great occasion.
As we return to our homes, let us go with thanksgiving in our hearts. We have been present and have participated in the proceedings of the 170th general conference of the Church. We have for the first time used this great new building. We have been here April 1 and 2 of the year 2000, the opening of a new century and a great new millennium. There is something wonderfully significant about all of this. It is a time of new beginnings.
I hope that each of us will long remember what we have heard, but more importantly, what we have felt. May it become an anchor in our lives, a guide by which to live, a training time where we learned to shape our actions toward others and our attitudes toward ourselves.
I pray that the effects of this conference will be felt in our homes.
I hope that each one of us will be a better husband or wife, kinder to one another, more thoughtful, more restrained in criticism, and more generous with compliments. I hope that as fathers and mothers we will strive more fully to rear our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), treating them with respect and love, giving encouragement at every opportunity and subduing our critical remarks. I hope that as sons and daughters we will be more respectful than we have been, that we will look to our parents with the knowledge that they love us, and that we will try to be more obedient in following their counsel.
Let us as Latter-day Saints reach out to others not of our faith. Let us never act in a spirit of arrogance or with a holier-than-thou attitude. Rather, may we show love and respect and helpfulness toward them. We are greatly misunderstood, and I fear that much of it is of our own making. We can be more tolerant, more neighborly, more friendly, more of an example than we have been in the past. Let us teach our children to treat others with friendship, respect, love, and admiration. That will yield a far better result than will an attitude of egotism and arrogance.
Let us study the ways of the Lord, reading His life and teachings in the sacred scripture He has given us. Let us take a little time to meditate, to think of what we can do to improve our lives and to become better examples of what a Latter-day Saint should be.
Let us reach out to the world in our missionary service, teaching all who will listen concerning the restoration of the gospel, speaking without fear but also without self-righteousness, of the First Vision, testifying of the Book of Mormon and of the restoration of the priesthood. Let us, my brothers and sisters, get on our knees and pray for the opportunity to bring others into the joy of the gospel.
Now, in closing, may I give you just a very brief report on temples. As of today, we have 76 in operation. That is many more than we had a few years ago. We will dedicate the Palmyra temple this coming Thursday. That will be a great occasion. The temple overlooks the Sacred Grove. Then on Sunday—next Sunday—we will dedicate the Fresno California Temple. We plan on dedicating altogether 36 new temples in the year 2000. I think we will accomplish all we set out to do. Quite a number of others in construction or announced will not be completed until 2001 or 2002.
Now, additionally, we announce at this conference that we hope to build a house of the Lord in Aba, Nigeria. Brother Pace, we may be delayed in Ghana, but we hope there will be no delay in Nigeria. Others in Asunción, Paraguay; Helsinki, Finland; Lubbock, Texas; Snowflake, Arizona; and somewhere in the Tri-Cities area of the state of Washington.
So we shall go on in the process of bringing temples to the people.
Now, we have been on a great shakedown cruise, as it were. This building has been filled to capacity. I don’t see an empty seat anywhere. It is a miracle! It is a tremendous and wonderful thing, for which we thank the Lord with all our hearts.
I leave with you my love and blessing and my testimony of this divine work. God our Eternal Father lives. You know that. I know that. His Beloved Son, the resurrected Redeemer of the world, stands at His side. You know that also, as do I. They appeared to the Prophet Joseph and ushered in this glorious work. How fortunate we are to be a part of it. Let us stand a little higher and let the nobility of good character shine through our lives, I humbly pray in the name of Him who is our great Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
God bless you, my beloved friends, my brothers, my sisters, my associates, in this great and holy work. Thank you.