LDS Leaders Focus on Core Beliefs

LDS Leaders Focus on Core Beliefs

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Sam Penrod ReportingThe LDS Conference Center was filled to capacity for all three sessions today, while leaders of the church spoke on a wide variety of topics about the church's beliefs and doctrines.

At tonight's priesthood meeting for the men of the church, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke on the topic of anger, saying, "It' is when we become angry that we get into trouble. I plead with you to control your tempers, to put a smile upon your faces, which will erase anger. Speak out with words of love and peace, appreciation and respect. If you will do this your lives will be without regret."

There was also a theme today that church members have a responsibility to help clear up misunderstandings about their faith. With more and more attention focused on the church in recent years, LDS members were counseled to give simple and clear statements about their faith.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, "The many misunderstandings and false information about the church are somewhat our own fault for not clearly explaining who we are and what we believe."

Church leaders believe one of those biggest misunderstandings involves the question of Mormons being Christians.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, "By and large any controversy in this matter has swirled around two doctrinal issues: our view of the godhead and our belief in the principle of continuing revelation leading to an open scriptural canon. In addressing this we do not need to be apologists for our faith, but we would like not to be misunderstood."

A touching moment for church members came as Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, was assisted by Elder Russell M. Nelson, so he could finish his conference address.

President Gordon B. Hinckley recognized longtime tabernacle organist John Longhurst, who is retiring after 30 years of playing the organ in General Conference.

"Brother Longhurst will retire at the end of this year. We thank him for his many years of devoted service to the church," President Hinckley said.

General conference was broadcast in 68 different languages today and is reaching more and more people around the world who are watching and listening on the Internet.

You can watch General Conference again tomorrow on KSL-TV, starting at 10 a.m., followed by the final session at 2 p.m.

It will also air in American Sign Language on Comcast 105 and digital 5.3, and KSL Newsradio also will carry the final two sessions. Or, you can watch it in real time here on

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