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STIMULATOR message for the week of October 17, 1972

Message from President Merlin W. Sant, October 17, 1972

“How grateful I am for your loyalty, and your sustaining vote.  I bear you solemn witness as to the divine mission of the Savior, and the certainty as to His guiding hand in the affairs of His church today, as in all dispensations of time.” — President Harold B. Lee

Dear missionaries —

Thus spoke our Prophet, Seer and Revelator as he addressed the solemn assembly of the Church, convened in the Tabernacle on Temple Square, October 6th, to sustain him and his counselors as the new First Presidency of the Church.  This solemn assembly was held in compliance with the established practice of the Church.  It is the procedure which only is used to sustain those who are called to serve as the First Presidency.

For those of you who have not attended a meeting of that kind, we will undertake to describe it.  Since all the brethren who hold the priesthood can’t attend, each grade or quorum is represented by a token group, and they are seated according to the quorums in which they have membership.  Then as they are called, beginning with the Quorum of the First Presidency, each quorum stands and votes to sustain the officer or officers proposed.  As they vote, with their right arm raised to the square, they make a solemn covenant with the Lord to give full loyalty and support to that officer for whom they are voting.  This procedure continues with the Quorum of the Twelve, the Patriarchs, the Fist Council of the Seventy, High Priests. Seventies, Elder, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons.  Finally, all present are invited to vote, including the women and children, and also all members who might be watching the proceedings on television.  It is truly a solemn occasion and a rare opportunity to pledge allegiance to God’s chosen servants.

During this same session of the conference, Elder Bruce R. McConkie, as a member of the Fist Council of the Seventy of 26 years, was sustained as a member of the Council of the Twelve.  Three new Assistants to the Twelve were sustained also.  They are Elder O. Leslie Stone, Elder James E. Faust, and Elder L. Tom Perry.  To fill the vacancy in the First Council of the Seventy, Elder Rex D. Pinegar, President of the North Carolina-Virginia Mission was called and sustained.

Thus we see again the Lord providing the leaders needed to build and strengthen His Church and Kingdom. It was reassuring to read what President Spencer W. Kimball had to say about those who have stood at the head of our Church for nearly a century and a half.  “Significant to us is the fact that there has never been one minute since April 6, 1830, 142 years ago, that the Church has been without divine leadership.”  So, fellow missionaries, with inspired men such as these to lead us, “Shall we not go on in so great a cause?”  (Doctrine and Covenants 128:22)

Faithfully yours,

President and Sister Sant

“I testify that if we shall look to the First Presidency and follow their counsel and direction, no power on earth can stay or change our course as a Church.”  President Joseph Fielding Smith

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