SALT LAKE CITY -- Tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints gathered to attend the 184th Annual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Saturday morning and afternoon session addressed many issues, but church members said the thing that really stood out was Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk about defending the faith, especially in this time when there are so many questions being directed at the church.
“Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them,” said Holland, who is a member of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Neil L. Andersen, another member of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, told members about a letter addressed to leadership stating changes in civil laws would not change the church’s stance on marriage.
“Of great concern to us should be those who struggle with same-sex attraction,” he said. “It is a whirlwind of enormous velocity. I want to express my love and admiration for those who courageously confront this trial of faith and stay true to the commandments of God.”
Church members said they find themselves defending their faith more often now with heightened interest in gay rights and ordaining women in the LDS priesthood.
“Countless times I find myself having to defend my beliefs,” said church member Marshall Slarks.
LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson also talked about new temples being completed world-wide. He projects 170 operating temples by 2015.
“In May, the Fort Lauderdale Temple will be dedicated," he said. "Other temples are expected to be dedicated next year."
The Saturday session largely focuses on church business, including humanitarian efforts and church membership numbers.
The LDS Church released information about church membership, as well as leadership changes. Click here for the details.