'Two glorious days' of conference

At the conclusion of the Church's 184th Semiannual General Conference — “two glorious days of inspired messages” — President Thomas S. Monson asked the 15 million Church members across the globe to resolve in their hearts to be a little better than they have been in the past.

“We have experienced two glorious days of inspired messages,” said President Monson. “Our hearts have been touched and our faith strengthened as we have partaken of the spirit which has been present during these conference sessions. As we conclude, we thank our Heavenly Father for many His blessings to us.”

More than 100,000 Church members gathered Oct. 4-5 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City to hear President Monson and other Church leaders offer counsel and direction.

Crowds filled the 21,000-seat Conference Center and overflow areas on Temple Square for each of the conference sessions, which were translated into more than 93 languages and broadcast to more than 170 countries and territories. In addition, proceedings were available on the Internet, cable television systems, and radio and television stations.

President Monson presided at the conference and spoke in four of the five sessions. His counselors in the First Presidency, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, took turns conducting the sessions.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, under the direction of Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, provided music for three sessions of conference. A combined choir from Utah takes in Tooele, Grantsville, and Stansbury Park, directed by Hollie Bevan, provided music for the Saturday afternoon session. And a choir of elders from the Provo Missionary Training Center, directed by Ryan Eggett and Elmo Keck, provided music for the priesthood session.

Clay Christiansen, Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, Linda Margetts and Bonnie Goodliffe accompanied the choirs on the organ.

In the opening session of conference Saturday morning, President Monson announced that the conference marks the 90-year anniversary of radio broadcasts and the 65-year anniversary of television broadcasts of conference.

“We acknowledge the blessings of modern media in allowing millions of members of the Church to watch or listen to general conference. The sessions of this weekend are being broadcast via television, radio, cable, satellite transmission, and the Internet, including on mobile devices.”

President Monson said the Church will dedicate the Phoenix Arizona Temple next month and at least five temples in 2015.

“When all the previously announced temples are constructed and dedicated, we will have 170 operating temples throughout the world,” he said. “Because we are concentrating our efforts on completing temples which were previously announced, we are not at the present time announcing any new temples. However, in the future, as we identify needs and locate properties, announcements of additional temples will be made. “

He also said the Church continues to grow.

“We are now more than 15 million strong and increasing in numbers,” President Monson said. “Our missionary efforts are going forward unhindered. We have over 88,000 missionaries serving, sharing the gospel message the world over.”

The conference marked the first time some speakers, whose primary language is not English, delivered their talks in their native tongues. Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong, who spoke in the Saturday morning session, delivered his address in Cantonese — the first talk in a language other than English in 184 years of the twice-annual conferences.

In addition, the First Presidency announced leadership changes during the Saturday afternoon session, including the release of two members of the Quorum of the Seventy and two Area Seventies.

Elder Carlos H. Amado was made an emeritus General Authority after more than 25 years of service. Elder William R. Walker was made and emeritus General Authority after serving as a Seventy since 2002. Elder Arayik V. Minasyan and Elder Gvido Senkans were released as Area Seventies.

At the conclusion of the conference, President Monson said, “As we leave this conference, I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you. May you who are away from your homes return to them safely and find all in order. May we all ponder the truths we have heard, and may they help us to become even more valiant disciples than we were when this conference began.

“Until we meet again in six months’ time, I ask the Lord’s blessings to be upon you.”

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