Home Features A look back on the First Presidency's general conference addresses

A look back on the First Presidency’s general conference addresses

Recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broadcasted the 192nd Semiannual General Conference. We heard from many familiar speakers, some of whom have been speaking at conference for decades.

Let’s look back at the first time the members of the First Presidency spoke to the Church.

President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Russell M Nelson
President Russell M Nelson Photo credit: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Call to the Holy Apostleship” — April 1984

Have you ever wondered how President Nelson felt when he was called to be an Apostle? This talk gives the answer.

These remarks were made the day after his name was given to be sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, a call he did not know he was receiving. He said with all the feelings going through his mind at that moment, the resounding one was faith.

“Now, I understand fully that the call to the Holy Apostleship is one of witness to the world of the divinity of the Lord, Jesus the Christ,” President Nelson said. “I know that salvation is centered in Him!”

Read his talk here.

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency

President Dallin H Oaks
President Dallin H Oaks Photo credit: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Strive for Excellence” — October 1971

In the fall of 1971, President Oaks was serving as the president of BYU. It comes as no surprise that his remarks focused on the philosophies of man and the teachings of the Church.

“We are concerned with teaching the fundaments of spiritual and secular knowledge and with bringing those teachings into harmony in the lives of men and women in order to prepare them for a balanced and full life of service to God and fellowmen,” President Oaks said.

Read his talk here.

President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

President Henry B. Eyring
President Henry B. Eyring Photo credit: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Ears to Hear” — April 1985

At the time of this address, President Eyring had just been called to serve as a member of the Presiding Bishopric. He started by sharing the fear he felt creep in surrounding his new call; he then provided words of comfort to those who might be feeling similarly about their own calls.

President Eyring went on to talk about his experience growing up in a small district in New Jersey and coming to a knowledge of God there.

“God lives.” President Eyring said. “Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith in fact saw God and His Son and received all the keys of the priesthood … I testify that God loves his children and can tell us what is true. I pray that we all may have ears to hear.”

Read his talk here.

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