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Carole Mikita reporting President Gordon B. Hinckley today outlined the international scope of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a session of the church's General Conference.
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "Our membership now reaches almost 12 million, with more members outside North America than reside within."
Before the two sessions of Conference today, Latter-day Saints were cautioned not to allow distractions when they leave to take away the good feeling of the meetings.
"We are aware that there may be some outside the Conference Center who will attempt to disrupt the special spirit you will experience during this session."
Before the session began, conference-goers were urged to be courteous when they leave.
With membership at nearly 12 million and more than 240-thousand converts this year, President Gordon B. Hinckley said a faith once recognized as a Utah church, has become a great international body, reaching out to the nations of the world.
President Gordon B. Hinckley/The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: "There is much more yet to be done, but what has been accomplished is truly phenomenal."
This was also an opportunity to mention a coming full circle with the state of Illinois, which this week issued an apology for persecution of the Mormon pioneers.
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "The Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution of regret for the forced expulsion of our people from Nauvoo in 1846. (edit) These and other developments represent a most significant change of attitude toward Latter-day Saints."
Latter-day Saints were once again urged to avoid pornography and immorality and to stay out of debt.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin/ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "The stress that comes from worry over money has burdened families, caused sickness, depression and even premature death."
And in a moment filled with both humor and charm, 97-year-old Elder David B. Haight, who could only wave to the crowd six months ago, returned.
Elder David B. Haight/ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "I'm back. And I don't have anyone else pushing my arm for me."
A special session for the men of the church, The General Priesthood Meeting, gets underway at 6 pm.