'Future is as bright as your faith'
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Amid times of global economic uncertainty and slipping moral footings, Church members were counseled during the Church's 179th Annual General Conference that they should draw nearer to Heavenly Father and His Son, look forward with faith and find peace in the temple.
"My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not," said President Thomas S. Monson. "Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith."
More than 100,000 Latter-day Saints gathered April 4-5 in the Conference Center to hear President Monson and other Church leaders offer counsel and direction.
Capacity crowds filled the 21,000-seat Conference Center and overflow areas on Temple Square for the conference sessions, which were translated into more than 90 languages and sent via satellite to more than 170 countries and territories. In addition, proceedings were broadcast on KSL-TV and BYU-TV, in Spanish on TV-Azteca, and to more than 1,700 cable television systems and radio and television stations in the United States and Canada.
President Monson presided at the conference, conducting three of five sessions — including the priesthood session — and speaking four times. His counselors in the First Presidency, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf also took turns conducting the other sessions.
The conference marked the calling of a new apostle, Elder Neil L. Andersen. Church members across the globe sustained Elder Andersen Saturday morning.
Elder Andersen — who was serving as the senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy prior to his call — will fill the vacancy left in the Quorum of Twelve with the passing of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin last December.
President Monson noted the absence of Elder Wirthlin as he opened the conference. "We mourn his passing. We miss him. We extend our love to his family. I have no doubt that he is carrying on this great work on the other side of the veil."
In addition to the sustaining of Elder Andersen, Church members sustained other Church leaders during the conference:
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom to the Presidency of the Seventy.
Twelve new members of the Seventy, whose diverse cultural backgrounds represent the growing diversity of the Church.
40 new Area Seventies.
A new general Sunday School presidency.
A new general Young Men presidency.
"We have been richly blessed as we have listened to the counsel and testimonies of those who have spoken to us," said President Monson before closing the conference for six months. "I believe we are all more determined to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ....
"May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference."