Pres. Eyring is new counselor

And Elder Quentin Cook fills vacancy in Quorum of Twelve

Published: Sunday, Oct. 7 2007 12:33 a.m. MDT

"It is when we become angry that we get into trouble," he said, later adding: "I plead with you to control your tempers, to put a smile upon your faces, which will erase anger; speak out words of love and peace, appreciation and respect. If you will do this, your lives will be without regret. Your marriages and family relationships will be preserved. You will be much happier."

Talks during the afternoon session touched on missionary work and also the growing membership of the church. Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and M. Russell Ballard, of the Twelve, noted increased media attention to the church and its doctrine, and spoke of basic beliefs of the church, including the centrality of Jesus Christ as the head of the church that bears his name.

"The growing prominence of the church and the increasing inquiries from others present us with great opportunities to build bridges, make friends and pass on accurate information," Elder Ballard said, referring to the volume of media about the church since the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and more particularly, in the wake of Mitt Romney's presidential quest.

"But it can also present a greater possibility of misunderstanding, sometimes even prejudice, if we allow others to define who we are and what we believe, rather than presenting it ourselves." This week the church unveiled a new outreach campaign by top church leaders that targets reporters and editorial boards.

Current questions about whether Latter-day Saints are Christians revolve primarily around two doctrinal issues: the nature of the Godhead and the LDS belief in continuing revelation, which leads to an open scriptural canon, Elder Holland said. "I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal, living Son of our literal, living God," he said.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, also of Twelve, said love of the Lord is a quality that best defines members of the LDS faith. In a tender gesture, Elder Wirthlin was assisted by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Twelve, who supported the aging church leader at the podium during part of his remarks.

"We are a people who love the Lord with all our hearts, souls and minds, and we love our neighbors as ourselves," Elder Wirthlin said. "That is our signature as a people. It is like a beacon to the world signaling whose disciples we are."

A rainy day

The Conference Center choir seats, usually the setting for the two-toned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, blossomed with lollipop colors Saturday afternoon as young women from the Mapleton and Springville area provided the music.

Persistent rain thinned the usual ranks of those crowded in and around Temple Square, but a group of 19 young men from the Rapid Creek Ward, Inkom, Idaho, braved the downpour for two hours, hoping to get into the center for the evening priesthood session. The group, led by Paul Lisk, had two exchange students in tow, one from Israel, one from Indonesia.

"It's been wonderful," Lisk said, refusing to the let the weather dampen his enthusiasm for meeting with other Latter-day Saints from many states and nations.

The conference will conclude today. Sessions will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City and will be televised in many areas and broadcast live via satellite to thousands of LDS chapels worldwide.

Contributing: Twila Van Leer

E-mail: nwarburton@desnews.com

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