Those paying close attention to the final moments of the Sunday afternoon session of general conference in October will remember the simple scene that will forever endear members of the Church to President Gordon B. Hinckley.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir had just concluded the session with a stirring rendition of "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," featuring the men who began the hymn in a worshipful hush, punctuated with a gentle military-like cadence.
Following the benediction, with the postlude music, "We Ever Pray for Thee, Our Prophet Dear," President Hinckley began his walk across the rostrum, acknowledging members of the Quorum of the Twelve and other General Authorities.
As he customarily does, he turned to the congregation and waved with a staccato motion of his cane while maintaining a steady stride toward the side doors.
He then stopped abruptly, crossed the cane to his other hand, and waved with a gentle gesture and an endearing smile that reflected all the charm and love members of the Church feel for this 96-year-old prophet leader.
No pretense, only kindness.
This quiet, almost imperceptible moment, was captured by Deseret Morning News photographer Tom Smart. So rich with emotion is this photo that it was chosen to be the cover of the 2007 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac.
This 656-page almanac continues its more than three-decade effort to chronicle the growth and dynamic work of the Church, a history that is expanding faster than any one person can grapple to understand.
Featured in this edition is the recounting of the use of technology by Jim Allen, emeritus professor of history at BYU and former assistant Church historian.
Applying modern technology to fulfill the purposes of the Church was bold and visionary. From as early as President Brigham Young employing the telegraph to communicate with members scattered across Utah, to the modern use of satellites and computers, the Church has seriously considered how each new innovation in technology could further the cause of the kingdom.
Members of the Church in 1950 would have been astounded if told that within their lifetimes, through the magic of television, computers, satellites and something called the Internet, they could watch general conference in almost any part of North and South America as well as other parts of the world.
The word "computer" was hardly in anyone's vocabulary, and the word "Internet" had not been formed.
From this genesis of satellite and Internet communication, the Church has emerged as an international forerunner in the use of technology.
The blessings afforded by vast innovation in communication technology have expanded the ability of the Church to fulfill the mandate of preaching the gospel to all the world.
Technological innovations have not been limited to communication, but have permeated also every field and operation of the Church. Certainly, the ability to manage and lead this expanding Church could not have been possible without the sophisticated capacity of computers.
The history of the Church continues to be the most fascinating news of our time.
Visit any Deseret Book store, or other outlets where Church publications are sold, to purchase your copy of the Church almanac for $12.95. Or, purchase by calling toll-free: 1-800-453-4532, or order on-line at: Deseretbook.com.
How to order
The Deseret Morning News 2007 Church Almanac is available for $12.95, plus shipping, through Deseret Book. Orders can be placed online at: Deseretbook.com, or by calling toll free: 1-800-453-4532, or 801-517-3369.