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Priesthood Session: 167th Semiannual General Conference

President Gordon B. Hinckley

President of the church

The church intends to build regular temples in both Houston, Texas and Porto Alegre, Brazil. But because many remote areas of the church have fewer members and major growth is unlikely, small temples - of a new design - will be built in some areas.

Every temple ordinance will be available in such temples, built to regular temple standards, with only half the capacity of larger temples.

"We are planning for such structures immediately in Anchorage, Alaska, in the LDS colonies in northern Mexico, and Monticello, Utah."

These facilities will have no paid employees, but depend on local members for staffing.

On other matters of concern:

- There is no point in doing missionary work unless we hold onto the fruits of that effort. Converts must be nurtured.

- Young women are under no obligation to serve missions. Missionary work is essentially a priesthood responsibility.

President Thomas S. Monson

First Counselor, First Presidency

Home teaching is "priesthood compassionate service," and lives will be blessed, hearts will be comforted and souls will be saved through this vital priesthood endeavor.

In his wisdom, the Lord has provided guidelines allowing priesthood holders to serve, teach and testify to families of the truth through home teaching.

Such a call is one of the most urgent and rewarding opportunities the church provides to nurture and inspire.

Understanding the challenges of each family member, making an advance appointment and becoming a genuine friend to each are important home-teaching guidelines.

"Home teaching answers many prayers and permits us to see the occurrence of living miracles." Visits by home teachers can be the key that will eventually open the doors to the return of those who have waned from church activity.

Jesus Christ didn't inscribe his laws upon stone but upon human hearts.

President James E. Faust

Second Counselor, First Presidency

The Lord is directing Latter-day Saints to be pioneers of the future and in so doing, to "be not afraid, only believe" in the gospel.

Believing requires action, but action is inhibited by fear.

"If you take each challenge one step at a time, with faith in every footstep, your strength and understanding will increase. You cannot foresee all of the turns and twists ahead. My counsel to you is to follow the direction of the Savior of the world: `Be not afraid.' "

All fears can be overcome, not all at once, but one at a time. "As we do so we will grow in confidence."

Believing involves faith and good works. Saints cannot be passive but must actively avoid evil. Do not trifle with sacred things.

"Families in this day and time should not only avoid evil but avoid the very appearance of evil. To combat these influences families must have family prayer, family home evening and family scripture study."

Elder M. Russell Ballard

Quorum of the Twelve

Priesthood holders have a sacred duty to always stand for truth and right.

The devil is the author of all sin and uses secret combinations, including gangs, to get hold upon the hearts of the children of men.

Without proper caution, today's secret combinations can obtain power as completely as in Book of Mormon times.

As he did then, Satan "is having far too much success today. That's why it is important for us as priesthood holders to take a firm stand for truth and right by doing what we can to help keep our communities safe."

The gospel provides the most effective preventative and rehabilitative assistance in overcoming criminal behavior.

"I do not believe that you and I can stand for truth and right while wearing anything that is unbecoming one who holds the priesthood of God. To me, it is impossible to maintain the spirit of the Lord while listening to music or watching movies or videos that celebrate evil thoughts and use vulgar language."

Bishop Keith B. McMullin

Second Counselor, Presiding Bishopric

The vitality and abilities of today's Aaronic Priesthood holders is astounding, but dark and ominous forces are interested in young men. To escape such perils, Heavenly Father has provided a Savior.

"The atoning sacrifice of our Lord is the most important single event in the history of all created things."

Aaronic Priesthood service readies men for the fullness of the everlasting gospel and for the blessings that belong to the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The world uses age as a means of defining one's readiness for manhood. "Remember, please remember: In the church, it is worthiness and the power of God that qualify men for the work. Expectation, opportunityand service contribute more to one's growth than do birthdays. In the kingdom of God, the age of majority begins with ordination."

"We are sons of our Heavenly Father and disciples of Jesus Christ. We act in `faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God.' "