‘Most inspiring conference’

Translated into 93 languages, broadcast to 170 countries

At the conclusion of the Church’s 181st Semiannual General Conference — a “most inspiring conference” — President Thomas S. Monson told the 14 million Church members across the globe that they are, with him, one “in moving forward this marvelous work.”

“I testify to you that we are all in this together and that every man, woman and child has a part to play,” he said in the Sunday afternoon session. “May God give us the strength and the ability and the determination to play our part well.”

More than 100,000 Church members gathered Oct. 1-2 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 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.

President Thomas S. Monson leaves the afternoon session of general conference at the on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011.
President Thomas S. Monson leaves the afternoon session of general conference at the on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, under the direction of Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, provided music for three sessions of conference. A Primary choir from the Pleasant View and North Ogden areas of Utah, under the direction of Vanja Y. Watkins, provided music for the Saturday afternoon session. A Melchizedek Priesthood choir from Pleasant Grove, Utah, under the direction of Justin Bills, provided music for the priesthood session. Clay Christiansen, Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth, Linda Margetts and Bonnie Goodliffe accompanied the choirs on the organ.

Crowds leave the Church's 181st Semiannual General Conference on Saturday, Oct. 1. More than 100,000 people gathered in the Conference Center and on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City for the two-day conference.
Crowds leave the Church’s 181st Semiannual General Conference on Saturday, Oct. 1. More than 100,000 people gathered in the Conference Center and on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City for the two-day conference. Credit: Scott Abbott, Deseret News

In the opening session of conference Saturday morning, President Monson announced the construction of six new temples. (See articles on pages 23.) President Monson said the Church will build temples in Barranquilla, Colombia; Durban, South Africa; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Star Valley, Wyoming; and Paris, France. He said the Church will also rebuild the historic Provo, Utah, Tabernacle — which was heavily damaged by fire in December 2010 — and convert it into a temple.

During conference, five members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were honorably released and given emeritus status: Elder Gary J. Coleman, Elder Richard G. Hinckley, Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi, Elder Carl B. Pratt and Elder Cecil O. Samuelson (who will continue to serve as president of Brigham Young University).

In addition, three members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy were honorably released: Elder Won Yong Ko, Elder Lowell M. Snow and Elder Paul K. Sybrowsky.

“We have felt the Spirit of the Lord in rich abundance these past two days as our hearts have been touched and our testimonies of this divine work have been strengthened,” said President Monson as he brought the conference to a close Sunday afternoon. “We are all here because we love the Lord and want to serve Him. I testify to you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. I acknowledge His hand in all things.”