This April’s conference included a solemn assembly wherein we sustained our new prophet. As the solemn assembly proceeded, we welcomed two new apostles.
Many general authorities were released and others called. Eight new General Authority Seventies were announced, as well as 55 new Area Seventies. The new General Authority Seventies are
- Carl B. Cook — named to the Presidency of the Seventy
- Robert C. Gay — named to the Presidency of the Seventy
- Steven R. Bangerter
- Matthew L. Carpenter
- Jack N. Gerard
- Mathias Held
- David P. Homer
- Kyle S. McKay
- Juan Pablo Villar
- Takashi Wada
The New Young Woman’s Presidency
Bonnie H. Cordon was released from the Primary presidency, and Lisa Renee Harkness was called to take her place. Sister Cordon was called as the new Young Women general president with Michelle D. Craig as first counselor and Becky Craven as second counselor.
Changes to Adult Priesthood Quorums
President Russell M. Nelson announced two significant organizational changes Saturday night designed to help everyday Latter-day Saints in congregations throughout the world minister more like Jesus Christ.
“Tonight we announce a significant restructuring of our Melchizedek Priesthood quorums to accomplish the work of the Lord more effectively,” President Nelson said during the general priesthood session in the Conference Center on Temple Square. “In each ward, the high priests and the elders will now be combined into one elders quorum . . . [and] the composition of [the stake high priests] quorum will be based on current priesthood callings.”
President Nelson said this change has been worked on, reviewed, and refined for many months. The key reason for the change, he said, is the need for a more effective ministry.
Elder Rasband elaborated, “[These changes] allow the bishop to delegate more responsibilities to the elders quorum and Relief Society presidents so the bishop and his counselors can focus on their primary duties — particularly presiding over the young women, and the young men who bear the Aaronic Priesthood.”
The 2017 Statistical Report
The statistical report is usually reported in general conference, but this year it was published at MormonNewsroom.org. The Church now has over 16 million members, with 16,118,169. There are 3,341 stakes, 421 missions, 553 districts, and 30,506 wards and branches. New converts numbered 233,729 in 2017, with 106,771 children of record born into the Church. The current number of full-time missionaries is 67,049, with 36,172 members working as service missionaries.
There were four temples dedicated during 2017 and one rededicated. There are currently 159 operating temples worldwide.
Changes to Visiting and Home Teaching
In Sunday afternoon conference, general authorities explained changes to Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching. Instead of the monthly visits and delivering of messages that have been the pattern in the past, ministering will be the watchword instead of visiting. All sorts of contacts will be acceptable and encouraged in ministering to those assigned us as we become their true shepherds.
Elder Holland urged us to lovingly and diligently watch over and nourish those under our care. We are to minister with more concern, not less. Monthly visits will not be reported. Instead, quarterly reports to ward and branch leaders will enable us to portray to them the needs of those we minister to.
7 New Temples Announced
Right at the end of the final session of conference, it was announced that 7 new temples will be built. Here are the locations: