Sustained by the body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Solemn Assembly, President Gordon B. Hinckley opened the 165th annual conference Saturday morning in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
His first counselor, President Thomas S. Monson, conducted the voting during the Solemn Assembly, calling first on the presidency itself to offer a sustaining vote. He then proceeded through the Council of the Twelve and other priesthood quorums, women and non-priesthood-holding men and young people.In the Tabernacle, support for the new First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve and other general church leaders appeared unanimous. President Monson advised priesthood leaders heading meetings in other buildings to inform the leadership of negative votes, if any.
Also sustained as a member of the Council of the Twelve was Elder Henry B. Eyring, who fills the vacancy created when President Hinckley named President James E. Faust to be his second counselor. Other new appointments were Elders David E. Sorensen, Jay E. Jensen and John B. Dickson to the First Quorum of the Seventy. They had all been serving in the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Elder W. Craig Zwick was also named to the First Quorum and Elder Bruce D. Porter to the Second Quorum. (See stories on A1 and A16.)
President Hinckley, who was ordained and set apart as the church's 15th president on March 12, following the March 3 death of President Howard W. Hunter, gave brief thanks for the show of support.
"I am overwhelmed by the feeling of love that has been expressed here," he said to the packed audience in the Tabernacle. He commented also on the thousands in attendance, recalling a time when the Tabernacle "seemed so large." No building could now be expected to accommodate the church's membership, which has topped nine million, he said.
Besides the thousands inside the building, thousands of others filled Temple Square. The grounds were a patchwork of blankets for families who wanted to be near the scene of the conference, although they couldn't get inside. Hundreds of others sat on garden ledges or on the bare grass. As those who attended the morning session filed out of the Tabernacle, thousands more were lined up waiting to get in for the afternoon session.
Coverage of the morning addresses appears on A18. The Mormon Youth Chorus, directed by Robert C. Bowden, provided the music for the session.