“New Leaders Called, Policies Announced,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 120
In general conference broadcasts reaching the largest-ever percentage of Church members, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced policy changes, and members of the Church sustained a new Young Women general presidency, several new General Authorities, and new members of the Presidency of the Seventy and of the Sunday School general presidency.
The 172nd Semiannual General Conference was the first general conference ever broadcast in parts of Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, and the South Pacific. More than 5,000 meetinghouses are now equipped to carry Church broadcasts, giving 90 percent of the Church access to general conference satellite broadcasts. In addition, sessions were carried live on the Internet.
At the October 2002 conference, a new Young Women general presidency was sustained. Sister Susan W. Tanner was called to serve as general president of the Young Women organization. Sister Julie B. Beck was called as first counselor, and Sister Elaine S. Dalton was called as second counselor.
Released as the Young Women general presidency were Sister Margaret D. Nadauld and her counselors, Sister Carol B. Thomas and Sister Sharon G. Larsen.
Five new General Authorities were called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Craig C. Christensen, Elder James M. Dunn, Elder Daryl H. Garn, Elder D. Rex Gerratt, and Elder Spencer V. Jones.
Released as members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were Elder Richard D. Allred, Elder Athos M. Amorim, Elder L. Edward Brown, Elder Earl M. Monson, and Elder Jerald L. Taylor.
Also released were 21 Area Authority Seventies. Of those released, 11 served in the United States and the others served in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, England, Germany, Japan, Korea, Peru, and Uruguay.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf was sustained as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder Val R. Christensen was sustained as second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency. Elder Ben B. Banks of the Seventy was named an emeritus General Authority and released from the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder Richard J. Maynes was released as second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency to fulfill other assignments.
During the priesthood session, President Hinckley announced several policy changes and reemphasized current policy and practice. Recognizing the heavy load borne by priesthood leaders, President Hinckley announced that effective on 1 November 2002, temple recommends will be valid for two years instead of one, reducing the amount of time leaders spend interviewing.
He also announced that missionary farewells will be limited to a sacrament meeting talk by the departing missionary and that family members will not participate in or plan the meeting. President Hinckley reminded members that open houses for missionaries are discouraged.
President Hinckley also asked community leaders to honor Church members’ desire to hold family home evening by leaving Monday evening free of school activities or other functions. He also spoke out against debt, immorality, and child abuse.