Saturday Morning October 2012 General Conference Highlights

Right out of the box the Saturday morning session of General Conference started off with a big surprise, and from how Elder Holland explained it, a huge shock to most in the Church -- at all levels! I was able to be in attendance during a Church press conference immediately following the Saturday morning session, in response to President Monson's explosive announcement about the lowering of the ages for both males and females to serve missions -- 18 now for young men and 19 for young women.

Elder Holland explained that pretty much, other than the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, almost nobody had a clue this was coming. President Monson wanted the information to be held very tightly until he had the opportunity to announce it to the general membership of the Church. I love how Elder Holland expressed, in his words, his feelings of "giddiness" about this new policy. 

Both Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Russell M. Nelson addressed the media in regard to the new changes.  I loved how each of them introduced themselves as "one of the Twelve Apostles". As one coming from California and not having much exposure to apostles and prophets, so up close and personal, this powerful declaration gave me chills all over as the Spirit bore witness to me personally of their prophetic calls and the significants of this announcement.

Elder Nelson began his remarks by sharing his "thrill by this morning's announcement" and then went on to quote President Monson from the morning session of General Conference. (Read President Monson's full remarks on the LDS Newsroom.)

He went on to explain that this decision has been studied prayerfully over that last several months, then referred to the scriptural admonition that we are to 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature'.  From the earliest days of the Church that mandate has been followed, he said -- and that we are accelerating our efforts to fulfill that mandate and give more young men and women to participate in that divine commission.

Elder Nelson made clear that they are not suggesting that all should serve at these young ages. Nor are they suggesting with the new policy that young women should serve. These are "options" to each bishop in evaluating each of his young people in determining when they could serve -- along with spiritual and emotional maturity.

Elder Nelson expressed the hope that many would "sieze this opportunity"

Jeffrey R. Holland about the new policy said that "this will require some changes in how we administer the missionary program." To the missionaries he said that "God is hastening His work and he needs more willing missionaries to spread His word to an often dark world. This is not about you, it is about the message you are called to bear".

Read the entire report on the LDS Newsroom.

You might also enjoy reading the thread on my WBMW Facebook page where I asked my readers how they felt about President Monson's announcement. I love how they all responded with such faith!

Video: Press Conference for New Missionary Service Age Requirements

In other exciting news from the Saturday morning  session of General Conference was the announcement of two more temples:

Tucson, Arizona

It will be the sixth in the state. There are approximately 400,000 Church members in Arizona.

Arequipa, Peru

Peru is home to approximately 30 million people including a half a million members of the Church. The Arequipa temple will be the third in the South American country where missionary work officially began in 1956.

These were the highlights as far as official announcements went and we haven't even gotten into the amazing counsel we were given during the session. Of note, we  also heard from Elders' Quentin L.Cook and Russell M. Nelson, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf -- Prophets and Apostles of the Lord. 

Here are summaries of each of the Saturday morning General Conference addresses:

Read a summary of President Thomas S. Monson’s opening remarks.

Read a summary of Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk.

Read a summary of Sister Ann M. Dibb’s talk.

Read a summary of Elder Craig C. Christensen’s talk.

Read a summary of Elder Shayne M. Bowen's talk.

Read a summary of Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk.

Read a summary of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk.

I look forward to, over these next six months, discussing many of the important principles and doctrines that were taught in this morning's session of General Conference.

Kathryn Skaggs

Photo Credit: LDS Newsroom


  1. I've heard several suggestions as to why the male missionary age was lowered to 18. Most of it had to do with concerns about worthiness and getting young men into a mission environment out of high school. Women should have always been 19 in my opinion.

    I'm sure that 18 is inspired, but I always thought 19 was on the young side. I see the wisdom but also have concerns. Allow me to express it this way, having served a mission in a very difficult part of the world (there was a religious war going on). It would be good if mature couples were balanced with the 18 year olds on a more frequent basis. We are discussing balance here.


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