SALT LAKE CITY — Members around the world gathered this weekend to be a part of the 181st Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
On Oct. 1 and 2, more than 100,000 members and investigators attended the five sessions of conference on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In various locations around the world, millions more participated via television and radio broadcast, Internet and satellite transmission.
- President Monson speaks at the Saturday morning session of General Conference.
Church authorities and auxiliary leaders taught on the growth of the church in companionship with the Book of Mormon, the worth of souls and repentance. They also encouraged spending more time strengthening the family and serving others.
The LDS church is moving forward at an unprecedented rate and membership continues to expand. During the Saturday morning session, President Thomas S. Monson announced six new temples will begin the construction process. These temples will be built in Paris; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Durban, South Africa; Barranquilla, Colombia; Star Valley, Wyo.; and Provo. You can view the official church announcement here.
The new temple in Provo will be a reconstruction of the tabernacle, which burned down in December.
The temple in Paris will be the first LDS temple in France. The next closest to the French are in Frankfurt, Germany; The Hague, Netherlands; or Bern, Switzerland.
The temple in Kinshasa will serve 23,000 members who otherwise travel to the Johannesburg temple, which is 2,100 miles away. The Durban and Kinshasa temples will be the fourth and fifth on the African continent.
The Barranquilla, Colombia, temple will be the second in the country. Colombia is home to 173,000 Latter-day Saints.
Lastly, President Monson announced the Star Valley, Wyo., temple, which, he said, will be in an area that provides a good experience for fishermen, as well.
Currently there are 135 temples in operation and 31 that have been announced or are under construction.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy taught Saturday morning that the spreading of the gospel at this remarkable rate fulfills ancient and modern prophecies.
“These prophecies that the kingdom of God like a stone cut out of a mountain would fill the earth, the name of Joseph Smith would be known throughout the world and the church would fill the Americas and fill the world might have seemed laughable 150 years ago,” Elder Clayton said. “The little band of believers eking out a living on the American frontier and moving to escape persecution didn’t look like the foundation of a faith that would cross international borders and penetrate hearts everywhere, but that is just what has happened.”
The general conference also marked the 50-year anniversary for interpretations of conference. Today, conference is interpreted into 93 different languages. This process makes the teachings of our modern prophets, seers and revelators available to millions across the world.
Several leadership changes were announced during the Saturday afternoon session. Elder Claudio R. M. Costa was released from the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder Tad R. Callister was sustained in that Presidency. Others were released from their positions in the First Quorum of the Seventy, the Second Quorum of the Seventy and the Area Seventies. This includes Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, who will continue to preside as president of BYU.
Video and audio versions of each session are available online at lds.org.