News Release

Be Kind and Caring, Leaders Counsel During Worldwide Conference 

Changes in leadership and five new temples announced

During the 187th Annual General Conference, leading officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged the faithful to follow Jesus Christ by being kind to others. The First Presidency announced changes in leadership and five new temples.

Six conference sessions were held held March 25, April 1 and April 2, 2017, originating in the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City and reaching a global audience estimated to be in the millions. Conference proceedings wereinterpreted live into more than 80 languages.

Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, urged conference participants to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being kind, loving, and charitable. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said that the love of Jesus Christ will help His followers to become a little kinder, more forgiving, more caring, and more dedicated to His work.

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles told listeners that they must guard against bigotry toward those who hold different opinions. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the same quorum expressed concern about the staggering economic inequality in the world. Being faithful requires honorably caring for the poor, he said. The outgoing Relief Society general president Linda K. Burton thanked her audience for providing relief to those who have fled their homes seeking relief from civil conflict and other hardships.

Elder Gary B. Sabin of the Seventy, Second Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency, encouraged conference goers to lift up the hands that hang down. Primary General President Joy D. Jones asserted that parents should help their children know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.

The changes in leadership announced during the Saturday afternoon session included the calls of six General Authority Seventies – Taylor G. Godoy, Joni L. Koch, Adilson de Paula Parrella, John C. Pingree Jr., Brian K. Taylor, and Taniela B. Wakolo. In addition, 36 Area Seventies were called. Among them were two from the Europe Area – Karl D. Hirst and K. Roy Tunnicliffe, both from England. While General Authority Seventies serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, in area presidencies, and in other headquarters administrative functions, Area Seventies’ authority is generally limited to the area where they serve.

Jean B. Bingham, Sharon Eubank and Reyna I. Aburto will oversee the Church’s Relief Society, one of the largest women’s organizations in the world. Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, who was the second counselor in the Primary presidency, was announced Saturday as the new first counselor. Sister Cristina B. Franco will be the new second counselor.

During opening remarks at the Sunday morning session, President Monson announced plans to build five new temples, located in Brasília, Brazil; the greater Manila, Philippines, area; Nairobi, Kenya; Pocatello, Idaho; and Saratoga Springs, Utah.

The annual statistical report presented at the conference lists a total global membership of 15,882,417, as of 31 December 2016.*

Twice a year, members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather to hear messages of inspiration and guidance from General Authorities and general officers during the Church’s General Conference.

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