“First Presidency Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary,” Liahona, Aug. 2005, N1–N2
A decade after being called to lead the Church, President Gordon B. Hinckley and the counselors in the First Presidency, President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust, discussed in a news conference many of the challenges and achievements within the Church during the last 10 years and expressed continued optimism for the future.
President Hinckley remarked that several significant things have blessed the lives of members and others since the day he became the 15th President of the Church.
He mentioned the announcement and success of establishing the Perpetual Education Fund, the construction of the Conference Center, the distribution of more than 50 million copies of the Book of Mormon in the last 10 years, and the allocation of a considerable amount of funds for humanitarian aid to those in need.
President Hinckley spoke briefly about the traveling he has done since 1995. He has traveled to more than 70 nations and logged more than one million miles (1.6 million km).
“It becomes very tiring, very wearisome, but it’s very faith promoting,” he said. “When you get out among the people and see their strength and their capacity, their devotion and their love, it’s a wonderful thing, really. You just can’t believe it until you experience it, and it’s tremendous.”
President Hinckley praised his counselors as men of wisdom, faith, and devotion, saying he couldn’t find any two men better suited to serve with him.
President Monson and President Faust spoke of their admiration for the work President Hinckley does.
“He is a man of vision who does not take counsel from his fears,” President Monson said. “He plans, he prepares, he prays, then with that prophetic influence which comes to him … he moves forward with faith.”
President Hinckley said he was not concerned about what he and his counselors will be remembered for. “We just do our very best today and leave the rest for whatever happens,” he said.
1995 to 2005 at a Glance
Increase in membership from 9.1 million to 12 million
Temples dedicated, rededicated, or announced
Additional languages into which all or part of the Book of Mormon has been translated, reaching 106 total languages
U.S. dollars provided in humanitarian assistance, including $105 million for emergency response in 111 countries
Wheelchairs donated to people in 95 different countries
Countries where clean water systems have been installed
Miles (1.6 M km) President Hinckley has traveled to visit more than 70 countries
First Presidency Time Line
March 12, 1995
First Presidency is set apart.
September 23, 1995
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issue “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
February 28, 1996
International Church membership surpasses U.S. Church membership.
April 6, 1996
President Hinckley announces plans to construct the Conference Center.
May 27, 1996
President Hinckley becomes the first Church President to visit mainland China.
November 2, 1996
The First Presidency announces the establishment of Latter-day Saint Charities.
April 5, 1997
The office of Seventy is added to the call of Area Authorities, a part-time regional leadership position created two years earlier.
October 4, 1997
President Hinckley announces plans to build smaller temples.
Worldwide Church membership reaches 10 million.
January 1, 2000
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issue “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” a declaration of their apostolic witness of the Savior.
April 1–2, 2000
First general conference is held in the new 21,000-seat Conference Center.
March 31, 2001
President Hinckley announces the establishment of the Perpetual Education Fund.
June 27, 2002
President Hinckley dedicates the rebuilt Nauvoo Illinois Temple.
January 11, 2003
First-ever global leadership training meeting is transmitted by satellite in 56 languages to more than 97 percent of the Church’s priesthood leaders.
Deseret Morning News contributed to this report.