Back to the 1970's for the General Conference highlights. Pres. Kimball has now been in charge for almost two years. This is 39 years ago, and Monson, Packer and Perry are there.
SPENCER W. KIMBALL - President
-Marion G. Romney - First Counselor
-N. Eldon Tanner - Second Counselor
Quorum of the 12 Apostles
EZRA TAFT BENSON - President
-Mark E. Peterson
-Delbert L. Stapley
-Hugh B. Brown
HOWARD W. HUNTER
GORDON B. HINCKLEY
THOMAS S. MONSON
-Boyd K. Packer
-Marvin J. Ashton
-Bruce R. McConkie
-L. Tom Perry
Perhaps the most pleasing note is the new dimension wherein we have some thousands of local missionaries in South America, Europe, the Orient, the South Seas, and elsewhere. They please us mightily by their devotion and their efficiency. The local ones proselyte without language training, and they proselyte without visas generally, and they know their own culture. And we are using local leaders in communities throughout the world. We are finding them to be loyal, effective, and devoted leaders.
We continue to be concerned with the rising divorce rate. Every divorce means saddened lives, broken vows, neglected and deprived children, and broken homes. We decry divorce and feel that there are relatively few divorces which are justifiable. Great care should be taken in forming marriage alliances; then both parties should do their utmost to keep these marriages happy ones. This can be done.
Selfishness and other sins are responsible for most divorces. The apostle Paul knew the answer. He said for men to love their wives and wives to love their husbands. For two people to work out their marriage together, they need a carefully worked out budget, made by both husband and wife, and then careful adherence to the same. Many marriages are defeated in the marketplace when unscheduled purchases are made. Remember that marriage is a partnership and is not likely to be successful otherwise. There should be joint planning and joint disciplining of the family. Too many civil marriages are broken. We are grateful that the temple marriages are nearer in line...
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has never intended that we should change or update with our vision the moral issues which he established long ago. Sin is still sin and always will be. We stand for a life of cleanliness. From childhood through youth and to the grave, we proclaim the wickedness of sexual life of any kind before marriage, and we proclaim that every one in marriage should hold himself or herself to the covenants that were made.
SWK - "The Privilege of Holding the Priesthood"
I am wondering how many of you know the Articles of Faith? How many of you big men, as well as the little men? Do you know them? Have you repeated them? You are always prepared with a sermon when you know the Articles of Faith. And they are basic, aren’t they? I would think it would be a wonderful thing if all the boys, as they learn them, would learn them word perfect. That means that you don’t miss and you don’t forget.
Shall I tell you how I did it? I think I have told you before, but I used to milk cows. I typed with two fingers, and I would type out these Articles of Faith on little cards and put them down in the corral right by me when I sat on the one-legged stool and milked the cows. And I repeated them over, I guess 20 million times. I don’t know. But at any rate, I have claimed that I could say the Articles of Faith now after these many, many years and could say them word-perfect. And I think it has been most valuable to me. Will you do that, my fine young men?...
The Lord has said, “I am the Almighty.” “I am Jesus Christ.” “I am Jehovah.” He is the one we worship. We sing about him in nearly every song. We pray about him in all our prayers. We talk about him in all our meetings. We love him, and we adore him. And we promise and rededicate ourselves over and over and over that we will from this moment forth live nearer to him and to his promises and to the blessings which he has given us.
SWK - "Spoken from Their Hearts"
Well, now, brothers and sisters, this is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to all who are listening in, we have not been fooling. What we have said to you in these three days is truth, downright truth, and it has a definite bearing upon the salvation and exaltation of every soul that could listen and hear.
This is the gospel of Christ. He is our Lord. This is a Christian church. We follow him. We love him. We praise him. We glorify him. And now we must go forward and follow him in every detail. The gospel has been restored. It is here for us in all its fulness. Never before has it been so full and so complete, so comprehensive, never before that we know of in the world. And here it is, available to us and available to millions of people, some of whom are listening. We hope they will not make the mistake of casting it aside or ignoring it. God bless you who have been listening.
EZRA TAFT BENSON - "A Message to the World"
To the rulers and peoples of all nations, we solemnly declare again that the God of heaven has established his latter-day kingdom upon the earth in fulfillment of prophecies. Holy angels have again communed with men on the earth. God has again revealed himself from heaven and restored to the earth his holy priesthood with power to administer in all the sacred ordinances necessary for the exaltation of his children. His church has been reestablished among men with all the spiritual gifts enjoyed anciently. All this is done in preparation for Christ’s second coming. The great and dreadful day of the Lord is near at hand. In preparation for this great event and as a means of escaping the impending judgments, inspired messengers have gone, and are now going, forth to the nations of the earth carrying this testimony and warning.
The nations of the earth continue in their sinful and unrighteous ways. Much of the unbounded knowledge with which men have been blessed has been used to destroy mankind instead of to bless the children of men as the Lord intended. Two great world wars, with fruitless efforts at lasting peace, are solemn evidence that peace has been taken from the earth because of the wickedness of the people. Nations cannot endure in sin. They will be broken up but the kingdom of God will endure forever.
Therefore, as humble servants of the Lord, we call upon the leaders of nations to humble themselves before God, to seek his inspiration and guidance. We call upon rulers and people alike to repent of their evil ways. Turn unto the Lord, seek his forgiveness, and unite yourselves in humility with his kingdom. There is no other way. If you will do this, your sins will be blotted out, peace will come and remain, and you will become a part of the kingdom of God in preparation for Christ’s second coming. But if you refuse to repent or to accept the testimony of his inspired messengers and unite yourselves with God’s kingdom, then the terrible judgments and calamities promised the wicked will be yours...
I know that God lives, that he is a personal being, the Father of our spirits, and that he loves his children and hears and answers their righteous prayers. I know that it is his will that his children be happy. It is his desire to bless us all. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Elder Brother, the very Creator and Redeemer of the world. I know that God has again established his kingdom on the earth in fulfillment of prophecy and that it will never be overcome, but it shall ultimately hold universal dominion in the earth and Jesus Christ shall reign as its King forever.
I know that God in his goodness has again revealed himself from the heavens and that Joseph Smith was called of God to reestablish that kingdom—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I testify that he accomplished this work, that he laid the foundations and that he committed to the Church the keys and powers to continue the great Latter-day work, which he began under the direction of Almighty God.
HOWARD W. HUNTER - "The Tabernacle"
Times may have changed and conditions under which we now live may be different, but the purposes and objectives of the restored gospel do not vary and truth remains constant. The sacrifices and efforts made by those who are now gone have brought blessings to us of today and are reminders of our obligation to those who will come after us. This building stands as a memorial to that reminder. It has stood as a great missionary, introducing the gospel of Jesus Christ to people around the world—those who have entered its portals and those who have heard the message that has gone forth from here in music and the spoken word. Down through the years our missionaries have carried a message that has blessed hundreds of thousands of people in the earth, and they are carrying that same message today to bless, for all eternity, those who will hear and believe.
Legal restraints against deviant moral behavior are eroding under legislative enactments and court opinions. This is done in the name of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice in so-called personal matters. But the bitter fruit of these so-called freedoms has been enslavement to debauching habits and behavior that leads only to destruction. A prophet, speaking long ago, aptly described the process when he said, “And thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” (2 Ne. 28:21.)
On the other hand, I am satisfied that there are millions upon millions of good people in this and in other lands. For the most part, husbands are faithful to wives, and wives to husbands. Their children are being reared in sobriety, industry, and faith in God. Given the strength of these, I am one who believes that the situation is far from hopeless. I am satisfied that there is no need to stand still and let the filth and violence overwhelm us, or to run in despair. The tide, high and menacing as it is, can be turned back if enough of the kind I have mentioned will add their strength to the strength of the few who are now effectively working. I believe the challenge to oppose this evil is one from which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as citizens, cannot shrink. And if we are ever to begin, let it be now.
I too had a teacher in Sunday School. From the Bible she would read to us of Jesus, the Redeemer and Savior of the world. One day she taught us how the little children were brought unto him, that he should put his hands on them and pray. His disciples rebuked those that brought the children. “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14.) That lesson has never left me.