During his opening remarks Saturday at the first session of the semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that two new temples will be built, one in Twin Falls, Idaho, and the other in the Salt Lake Valley.
When completed, the Twin Falls Idaho Temple will be the fourth temple in Idaho. Dedicated temples serve Latter-day Saints in areas surrounding Boise and Idaho Falls. Plans were announced previously to construct the Church’s third Idaho temple in Rexburg.
The new temple in the Salt Lake Valley will be the third temple in the Salt Lake area and the twelfth in Utah. President Hinckley indicated that continued growth may require a fourth temple in the Salt Lake area.
Temples are also currently under construction in Aba, Nigeria; Helsinki, Finland; Newport Beach and Sacramento, California; and San Antonio, Texas. The temple, destroyed by fire in Samoa, is being replaced. When all announced temples have been dedicated, the total number will be 130.
President Hinckley also noted, “We must do extensive work on the Salt Lake Tabernacle to make it seismically safe. This marvelous structure has been used for 137 years. The time has come when we must do some work to preserve it. It is one of the unique architectural masterpieces in the entire world, and a building of immense historical interest. Its historical qualities will be carefully preserved while its utility comfort and safety will be increased.”
“The Book of Mormon was recently included as one of the twenty most influential books ever published in America. We are now joining hands with a commercial publisher to enlarge the distribution of this sacred volume, this second witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
President Hinckley said, “Suffice it to say that I believe the Church is in better condition than it has been at any time in its entire history. I have been around for nearly 95 years of that history, and I have seen much of it firsthand. I am satisfied that there is greater faith, there is a broader measure of service and there is greater integrity among our youth. There is greater vitality in all aspects of the work than we have ever seen before. Let us glory in this wonderful season of the work of the Lord.”
Excerpts from Saturday Morning General Conference Talks
Prophets, Seers and Revelators
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve
“The apostolic and prophetic foundation of the Church was to bless in all times, but especially in times of adversity or danger, times when we might feel like children, confused or disoriented, perhaps a little fearful, times in which the devious hand of men or the maliciousness of the devil would attempt to unsettle or deceive or mislead. Against such times as come in our modern day, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve are commissioned by God and sustained by you as “Prophets, Seers and Revelators,” with the President of the Church sustained as the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, the senior Apostle, and as such the only man authorized to exercise all of the revelatory and administrative keys for the Church.
“In New Testament times, in Book of Mormon times, and in modern times these officers form the foundation stones of the true Church, positioned around and gaining their strength from the cornerstone, ‘the rock of our Redeemer, who is [Jesus] Christ, the Son of God,’ (Helaman 5:12) He who is the great “apostle and high priest of our profession” to use Paul’s phrase (Hebrews 3:1).
Such a foundation in Christ was and is always to be a protection in days when all his hail and his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you.” In such days as we are now in—and will more or less always be in—the storms of life “shall have no power over you…because of the rock upon which you are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fail” (Helaman 5:12)
Elder Holland also told the story of his “volatile and determined tenth great-grandfather” Roger Williams who “fled—not entirely of his own volition—from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and settled in what is now the state of Rhode Island. He called his headquarters Providence, the very name itself revealing his lifelong quest for divine interventions and heavenly manifestations. But he never found what he felt was the true New Testament church of earlier times. Of this disappointed seeker the legendary Cotton Mather said, ‘Mr. Williams…[finally] told [his followers] that being himself misled, he had misled [them] and he was satisfied that there was none upon Earth that could administer baptism [or any of the ordinances of the gospel]…so he advised them therefore to forego all…and wait for the coming of the new apostles” (Cotton Mather, Magnolia Christi Americana, 1:498).
The Power of God’s Love
Elder John H. Groberg
Of the Presidency of the Seventy
“Since all love emanates from God, we are born with the capacity and desire to love and be loved. One of the strongest connections we have with our pre-mortal life is how much our Father and Jesus loved us and how much we loved them. Even though a veil was drawn over our memory, whenever we sense true love, it awakens a longing that cannot be denied.
“Responding to true love is part of our very being. We innately desire to reconnect here with the love we felt there. Only as we feel God’s love and fill our hearts with His love can we be truly happy.
“God’s love fills the immensity of space; therefore, there is no shortage of love in the universe, only in our willingness to do what is needed to feel it.
Bringing Peace and Healing to Your Soul
Elder Dale E. Miller
Of the Second Quorum of the Seventy
“Conversion does not normally come all at once, even though the scriptures give us dramatic accounts. It comes in stages, until a person becomes at heart a new person. Being ‘born again’ is the scriptural term. It is both a change of how we think and how we feel (See Marion G. Romney in Conference Report, Oct. 1963, 24).
Elder Miller said, “Somebody once asked President Romney how one could know when he is converted. President Romney answered: ‘He may be assured of it when by the power of the Holy Spirit his soul is healed. When this occurs, he will recognize it by the way he feels, for he will feel as the people of Benjamin felt when they received remission of sins. The record says,’the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience,..’” (Mosiah 4:3). (See Romney, Conference Report, Oct. 1963).
“Peter describes what happens in full conversion: We become ‘partakers of the divine nature’ (2 Peter 1:4; See also verses 1-3, 5-9).
Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind
Elder Richard G. Scott
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“Try as you might you will not find enduring happiness until, through repentance, you satisfy personally broken law to restore peace to a troubled conscience…
“Broken law from sin or transgression causes anguish of mind and heart from an offended conscience. Knowing that all of His children, save His Only Begotten, Jesus Christ, would unintentionally or intentionally violate His laws, our Eternal Father provided a means to correct the consequences of such acts. Whether the violation be great or small the solution is the same; full repentance through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement with obedience to His commandments…
“Now if you are one who cannot forgive yourself for serious past transgressions, even when a judge in Israel has assured that you have properly repented, if you feel compelled to continually condemn yourself and suffer by frequently recalling the details of past errors, I plead with all of my soul that you ponder this statement of the Savior:
He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins–…he will confess them and forsake them (D&C 58: 42-43)
“To continue to suffer when there has been proper repentance is not prompted by the Savior but the master of deceit whose goal is to bind and enslave you. Satan will press you to continue to relive repeatedly the details of past mistakes knowing that such thoughts make forgiveness seem unattainable…
“To continually suffer the distressing effects of sin after adequate repentance, while not intended, is to deny the efficacy of the Savior’s atonement in your behalf.”
Where Do I Make My Stand?
President James E. Faust
2nd Counselor in the First Presidency
President Faust said his message was one of hope and counsel for those who may wonder about the seemingly unfair distribution of pain, suffering, disaster, and heartache in this life. He quoted President Howard W. Hunter who once said, “God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see” (Howard W. Hunter, Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 71.) President Faust continued, “None of us knows the wisdom of the Lord. We don’t know in advance exactly how He would get us from where we are to where we need to be, but He does offer us broad outlines in our patriarchal blessings. We encounter many bumps, bends, and forks in the road of life that leads to the eternities. There is so much teaching and correction as we travel on that road. Said the Lord, ‘He that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom’ (D&C 136:31). ‘For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth’ (Hebrews 12:16).
“As we live on earth we must walk in faith, nothing doubting. When the journey becomes seemingly unbearable, we can take comfort in the words of the Lord, ‘I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears; behold, I will heal thee’ (2 Kings 20:5) Some of the healing may take place in another world. We may never know why some things happen in this life. The reason for some of our suffering is known only to the Lord.
“President Brigham Young offered the profound insight that at least some of our suffering has a purpose when he said:
All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord…Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation (Discourses of Brigham Young, 345 (8:150).