News Release

Millions of Mormon faithful counseled at worldwide conference to walk with Jesus

General Conference

During the 186th Semiannual General Conference, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged faithful to follow Jesus Christ and remember God’s plan of happiness for all His children.

Six conference sessions were held September 24, October 1 and October 2, 2016, originating in the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City and reaching a global audience estimated to be in the millions.


President Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explained, during the Sunday morning session, that Jesus Christ is essential to God’s plan of happiness and salvation. Without His atoning sacrifice, all would be lost, President Monson said.

During the same session, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged listeners to walk with Jesus, as did the disciples of old. He will never abandon anyone, Elder Ballard testified.

Faith in Jesus Christ enables his followers to meet any challenge, said Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, during the general women’s session of the conference. Many other speakers at the conference focused on similar themes.

The First Presidency announced leadership changes during the Saturday afternoon session. Elders Daniel L. Johnson, Jairo Mazzagardi, Kent F. Richards and Francisco J. Viñas were released as General Authority Seventies and granted emeritus status. Bhanu K. Hiranandani from the South America Northwest Area and Sandino Roman from the Mexico Area were announced as Area Seventies. Alan R. Walker, serving in the Mexico Area, was released as Area Seventy.

General Authority Seventies serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, in area presidencies and in other headquarters administrative functions. Under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostels, they travel frequently to meet with and teach Church leaders, missionaries and members of the Church in local congregations.

General Authority Seventies have authority to serve anywhere in the world. Area Seventies' authority is typically limited to the geographical area where they serve.

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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