For the first time in 10 years, a general conference congregation met in solemn assembly to sustain a new First Presidency of the Church. The business of the opening session of the 188th Annual General Conference also included the sustaining of the two newest members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares.
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the session and the solemn assembly.
Music for the session was provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, with Andrew Unsworth and Clay Christiansen playing the Conference Center Organ.
Speakers included President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Brian K. Taylor, General Authority Seventy; Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk, General Authority Seventy; Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy; and Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Mervyn B. Arnold, General Authority Seventy, gave the invocation, and Elder W. Mark Bassett, General Authority Seventy, gave the benediction.
"As we each sustained President [Russell M.] Nelson by our uplifted hands, we stood as witnesses before God and acknowledged that he is President [Thomas S.] Monson's rigutful successor," President Ballard said in his opening address, adding that he has known the "new prophet-president" for more than 60 years and has served with him in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for 33.