News Release

Renew commitment to Christ during time of worldwide commotion, urges President Nelson at General Conference

Six new temples announced; leaders condemn racism and call for civility in public life

Embrace the future with faith and seek to thrive spiritually despite turbulent times. Those were some of the key messages shared by President Russell M. Nelson, global leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the faith’s 190th semimanual conference (3-4 October 2020).


While President Nelson expressed joy for the opportunity and ability to gather virtually for the worldwide conference, he also conveyed sorrow for all those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and other hardships.

But despite the world’s commotion, he said the Lord would have us “look forward to the future with joyful anticipation.”

“The challenge for you and me is to make certain that each of us will achieve his or her

divine potential. Today we often hear about ‘a new normal.’ If you really want to embrace ‘a

new normal,’ I invite you to turn your heart, mind, and soul increasingly to our Heavenly Father,

and His Son, Jesus Christ. Let that be your ‘new normal.’”

Multiple speakers at the Latter-day Saints’ worldwide event called for civil discourse in public life and for a complete abandonment of racist attitudes. Offering the opening prayer at the Saturday morning session, Elder Patrick Kearon, senior president of the Seventy, asked for divine blessings for those who feel marginalised. He said, “We plead for healing, peace and comfort to settle upon them” and petitioned, “We yearn for a return to grace, dignity and civility in public life.”

Church leaders pointed to new technological approaches to sharing the gospel that were proving effective. President Russell M. Nelson declared in his opening remarks at General Conference, “[T]he work of the Lord is steadily moving forward. Amid social distancing, face masks, and Zoom meetings, we have learned to do some things differently, and some even more effectively. Unusual times can bring unusual rewards. Our missionaries and mission leaders have been resourceful, resilient, and truly remarkable. Although most missionaries have had to find new, creative ways to do their work, many missions have reported doing more teaching than before.”

Plans were announced to build temples in six locations: Tarawa, Kiribati; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Lindon, Utah, USA; Greater Guatemala City, Guatemala; São Paulo East, Brazil; and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Since becoming the leader of the Church in 2018, President Nelson has announced the construction of 49 new temples. The Church of Jesus Christ now has 230 temples announced, under construction or operating.

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency announced the calls of a new General Authority Seventy, Elder Dean M. Davies; a new member of the Presiding Bishopric, Bishop L. Todd Budge; and four new Area Seventies. He also noted the releases of Bishop Dean M. Davies as a member of the Presiding Bishopric, and of three General Authority Seventies and 47 Area Seventies. Elder Brent H. Nielson replaces Elder L. Whitney Clayton as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy (who has been given emeritus status).

During the Women’s Session, Sister Sharon Eubank, first counsellor in the Relief Society general presidency, spoke of women’s power to “remove prejudice and build unity,” and invited women to “be part of a collective force that changes the world for good.”

“The women of this Church have unlimited potential to change society,” she said. According to Sister Eubank, “the change we seek in ourselves and in the groups we belong to will come less by activism and more by actively trying every day to understand one another.” Women can work to ensure their efforts are in-sync with others, where individuals act for the common good and each adjusts “to the needs and capabilities of the others.” They can draw on the Lord’s power as they extend the same mercy to others that they seek for themselves.

A total of five conference sessions were held during the weekend, originating from the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Through satellite, radio, television, and internet broadcasts as well as print publications, speakers reached a global audience estimated to be in the millions.

Latter-day Saint missionaries first came to Europe in 1837. There are now over half a million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the European continent.

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