“President Hinckley, Church Are in Good Health,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 126–27
During the 176th Semiannual General Conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley reported that he and the Church are both in good health.
“I feel well,” the 96-year-old prophet said. “My health is reasonably good.”
President Hinckley quoted his doctors as saying his recovery from surgery in January and subsequent treatments has been “miraculous.” By early November President Hinckley will become the oldest President in the history of the restored Church. President David O. McKay (1873–1970) died at the age of 96 years and 132 days. President Hinckley celebrated his 96th birthday on June 23.
More than 100,000 people attended sessions of conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, and millions more watched worldwide. Conference talks were translated into 85 languages, with Turkish being the most recently added.
In the Saturday morning session, President Hinckley reported on Church progress. “I can only report that the Lord is richly blessing His Church,” said President Hinckley. “Our duty is to do all we can to move it forward.”
The Church’s 123rd and 124th temples were recently dedicated in Sacramento, California, and Helsinki, Finland, respectively. President Hinckley indicated that the Church now owns 6,066 satellite receiving sites in 83 countries, compared to only 300 in 1982.
President Hinckley also explained that the Salt Lake Tabernacle, the facility on Temple Square normally used by the Tabernacle Choir for the weekly broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word, is currently under renovation. The building will reopen in the spring of 2007, he explained. The choir has been broadcasting from the Conference Center during the renovations.
During the Saturday afternoon session, eight members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were released from full-time service as General Authorities of the Church. Those released are Elders Ronald T. Halverson, Dale E. Miller, H. Bryan Richards, Donald L. Staheli, David R. Stone, H. Bruce Stucki, Robert J. Whetten, and Richard H. Winkel.
In addition, Erich W. Kopischke, 49, of Frankfurt, Germany, was called as an Area Seventy. Three Area Seventies were also released on Saturday: Elders Cesar A. S. Milder, Hyae-Kee Min, and Masayuki Nakano.
The year 2006 marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the handcart pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.
“Their faith is our inheritance,” President Hinckley said about the pioneers. “Their faith is a reminder to us of the price they paid for the comforts we enjoy.” In closing he said: “In … this great cause, increased faith is what we most need. Without it, the work would stagnate. With it, no one can stop [the Church’s] progress.”