LDS faithful learn of new Young Women presidency during Saturday afternoon session of general conference

Published: Saturday, April 6 2013 8:10 p.m. MDT

The newly called Young Women presidency, President Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson and her counselors, Sisters Carol Louise Foley McConkie and Evelyn Neill Foote Marriott, on the stand during the afternoon session Saturday, April 6, 2013 of the 183th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Conference Center.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — During the Saturday afternoon session of the 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, church members heard stirring sermons from four members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and sustained a number of new church leaders, including a new general Young Women presidency.

They also found out that there are now 14,782,014 of them living in 29,014 wards and branches.

That last bit of information came during the business portion of the session, during which changes among the general church officers are announced and auditing and statistical reports are presented. Those changes included the calling of Elder Ulisses Soares to replace Elder Walter F. Gonzalez in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy in addition to the calling of a new general Young Women presidency, with Bonnie Lee Oscarson as president and Carol Louise Foley McConkie and Evelyn Neill Foote Marriott as counselors.

Eight new members of the Seventy were also called, including three new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy and five new members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy (please see separate story).

With the business done, conference-goers shifted their focus to the words and teachings of four apostles and two members of the Seventy.

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve noted the “unprecedented wave of enthusiasm for missionary work that is sweeping the entire earth” following last October’s announcement of a reduced minimum age requirement for full-time missionary service in the church.

“Many of you young men and women will catch this wave as you strive to be worthy of mission calls,” he said. “You see this as a wave of truth and righteousness. You see your opportunity to be on the crest of that wave.”

But others in the church also need to catch the wave, Elder Nelson said, including parents, teachers, adult members, stake presidents, bishops and ward mission leaders.

“This wave of truth and righteousness is wondrous!” Elder Nelson said. “It is not man-made! It comes form the Lord, who said, ‘I will hasten my work in its time.’

“This wave is empowered by a divine announcement made 193 years ago,” he continued. “It consisted of only seven words: ‘This is my Beloved Son. Hear him!’ Uttered by Almighty God, that announcement introduced a young Joseph Smith to the Lord, Jesus Christ. Those seven words launched the Restoration of his gospel. Why? Because our living God is a loving God. He wants his children to know him and Jesus Christ whom he has sent! And he wants his children to gain immortality and eternal life.”

A second apostle, Elder Richard G. Scott, spoke of the need for a “place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup and re-energize to prepare for future pressures.”

The ideal place for that kind of refuge is “within the walls of our own homes, where we have done all we can to make the Lord, Jesus Christ, the centerpiece,” he said.

That can be difficult in a world in which “there is real danger in the environment surrounding you,” Elder Scott observed.

“Satan’s fate is decided,” he said. “He knows he has lost. But he wants to take as many with him as he can. He will try to ruin your goodness and abilities by exploiting your weaknesses.”

As an example, Elder Scott referred to modern technology.

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