News Release

Renew commitment to follow Jesus Christ, speakers urge at worldwide conference

Changes announced to enhance women’s participation and strengthen youth


Enhancing women’s participation, strengthening youth, and renewing personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ were themes emphasized through talks and announcements at the semi-annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Five conference sessions were held 5-6 October 2019, originating from the 21,000-seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah. Through satellite, radio, television, and internet broadcasts as well as print publications, speakers reached a global audience estimated to be in the millions.

Valuing the service of women

Righteous women in the Church speak and teach with power and authority from God, asserted Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Women teaching the doctrine of Christ and participating in the councils of the Church is essential and never ornamental, he added.


Prior to the main sessions of conference, General Authorities and General Officers of the Church met to be instructed by the First Presidency. President Russell M. Nelson shared with them a new Church policy related to the witnessing of ordinances, including baptisms performed in chapels and temples. These changes are intended to enhance family participation in ordinances, President Nelson elaborated during the conference.

For the first time, President Nelson announced plans to build additional temples during the women’s session of conference. The announcement of four new temples in the United States and one each in Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Guatemala brings the total number of temples operating, announced or under construction to 217 worldwide.

Strengthening youth

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, outlined policy adjustments to strengthen the youth.

Local bishops will more directly lead and mentor youth, said Elder Cook. Young Men presidencies consisting of adult males who lead young men at the congregational level are discontinued. For more than a century, the Church’s Young Women program has divided girls into three classes. Going forward, classes will be organized based on the needs of each particular congregation, Sister Cordon explained.


Following Jesus Christ

Latter-day Saints, as with other followers of Jesus Christ, are always looking for ways to help, to lift, and to love others, President Nelson told listeners. Among other initiatives, the Church helps refugees, he expounded. In the year 2018 alone, the Church provided emergency supplies to refugees in 56 countries. In addition, many Church members volunteer their time to help refugees integrate into new communities.

True disciples of Jesus Christ love God and His children without expectation of something in return said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Sister Reyna I. Aburto, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, encouraged conference-goers to follow the Savior’s path and increase their compassion. Elder Hans T. Boom of the Seventy invited the audience to step out of the darkness into the light and said that the Gospel light will provide warmth and healing.

Recent initiatives and announcements in the Church should be seen as an interrelated effort to help members build on Jesus Christ, explained Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


Among the changes to Church leadership announced at general conference was the release of Elder Wolfgang Pilz as an Area Seventy who has been called as president of the Frankfurt Germany Temple. His wife Karin Pilz will serve as temple matron.


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