“President Hinckley Addresses Members, Missionaries in Southeast U.S.” Liahona, Apr. 2005, N2–N3
Nearly 12,000 members of the Church in the states of South Carolina and Georgia gathered to hear the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Presidency of the Seventy, in person or by satellite broadcast to 11 stakes during a November 20–21 regional conference.
President Hinckley spoke on the pillars of righteousness, using an analogy of the pillars holding up the roof of the Salt Lake Tabernacle that is currently undergoing renovation. President Hinckley spoke during the priesthood leadership session, the general session, and a meeting with missionaries.
Elder Ballard spoke about missionary work, referring to the new Preach My Gospel program for missionaries. He encouraged members to have the desire, strength, and courage to share what they know to be true.
Elder Christofferson addressed the congregation regarding the need to nurture new members of the Church through befriending them, giving them a responsibility, and nurturing them with the teachings of the gospel.
Also bearing testimony during the meetings were Sister Barbara Ballard; Sister Kathy Christofferson; Elder W. Blake Sonne, Area Authority Seventy in the North America Southeast Area; and Elder Sonne’s wife, Kay.
The conference was held in the West Columbia South Carolina Stake. Participating by satellite were the Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, and Greenville East Stakes in South Carolina and the Albany, Augusta, Columbus, Douglas, Macon, and Savannah Stakes in Georgia.
Missionaries from the South Carolina Columbia Mission attended the missionary meeting, which was also attended via satellite by the missionaries of the Georgia Macon Mission.
Members filled the West Columbia Stake Center shortly after the doors opened, more than three hours before the general session began.
“It’s the most wonderful experience I’ve had in my life,” said 17-year-old Amanda Geddings of the Newberry Branch, West Columbia South Carolina Stake, after the meeting. “I’ve never felt the Spirit so strongly, and I am so thankful that I can be a member of this Church.”
The regional conference marked President Hinckley’s third visit to South Carolina. His previous visits included the dedication of the Columbia South Carolina Temple in 1999 and a conference while he served as counselor to President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985).
Adapted from Church News, November 27, 2004.