On Monday, March 29, 1982, President Wallace B. Smith presented the following document to the councils, quorums, and orders of the church, and to the delegates of the World Conference, asking them to consider it as divine guidance for the whole church. The Conference adopted it on that basis the next day and provided for its inclusion in the Doctrine and Covenants.
Callings of personnel at the general officer level, shown in the first five paragraphs, effect changes in the composition of the First Presidency, the Council of Twelve, and the Order of Evangelists.
The rest of the document calls the church at large to greater unity of purpose and resoluteness of action in proclaiming the gospel and advancing the cause of Zion. President Smith introduced the document with the following statement:
"Because of the duties and responsibilities which are peculiarly mine, the needs of the church are matters of continual concern in my prayers and meditations. As I have sought for light and understanding regarding those needs I have been blessed with a great degree of assurance that the instructions I now bring to the church do represent the divine will. With that assurance, I present the following for your prayerful consideration."
To the Councils, Quorums, and Orders of the Church and to the World Conference:
[Sec 155:1a] My servant, Reed M. Homes, having served honorably for many years as a special witness in the apostolic quorum and for the past eight years as Presiding Patriarch of the church, is released from his responsibilities and should be given the honor of superannuation.
[Sec 155:1b] He should continue to minister in the office of patriarch and evangelist as opportunities allow, but thus relieved of specific duties he will be free to pursue other interests, especially relating to Israel and the Holy Land.
[Sec 155:2a] Duane E. Couey is called to the office of patriarch and to be the Presiding Patriarch of the church. In that office he will bring rich ministry as a spiritual father to the church. This call, which was made known to my servant earlier, is now timely and the ordination should take place as soon as practicable.
[Sec 155:2b] Elder Couey's wisdom and spiritual maturity, so evident during his tenure as counselor to two presidents of the church, will be a great blessing to the people if he will accept this high and holy calling.
[Sec 155:3] To fill the vacancy in the Quorum of the First Presidency, Alan D. Tyree is now called to extend his apostleship in presidency as a member of the quorum of the First Presidency and as a Counselor to the President of the High Priesthood and the Church. His gifts and knowledge, strengthened by nearly thirty-two years of missionary and administrative experience, will be of great value in this new responsibility and he should be ordained without delay.
[Sec 155:4a] My faithful servant, John C. Stuart, is honorably released from his duties in the Council of Twelve Apostles. His labor of many years is acceptable unto me and he should be accorded the honor of superannuation.
[Sec 155:4b] He is called to be a patriarch and, if willing, should be ordained and take his place in the Order.
[Sec 155:5] . My servants, Joe A. Serig and James C. Cable, are called to be apostles in my church. Let them be relieved of their present assignments as soon as it is expedient so that they may be ordained and take their places as special witnesses of my gospel.
The Spirit prompts me to say further regarding the work:
[Sec 155:6] Some of you have felt confusion as you have sought to labor in the midst of the many voices which are competing for a following, claiming to know my will. At a time when my word has clearly sent you forth to witness of my gospel, there are many who still are temporizing, looking for further confirming signs of the truth of those instructions which have already been given.
[Sec 155:7] Know, O my people, the time for hesitation is past. The earth, my creation, groans for the liberating truths of my gospel which have been given for the salvation of the world. Test my words. Trust in my promises for they have been given for your assurance and will bear you up in times of doubt. Be not overly concerned with method as you go forth to witness in my name. There are many techniques for proclaiming my word which may be used as needs and circumstances dictate.
[Sec 155:8] The call is for workers in the cause of Zion; therefore, neither tarry, nor doubt that I am. I know your perplexities and I am aware of your uncertainties, but if you will call upon my name my Spirit will go before you into whatsoever place you are sent and I will continue to bless you as you have need.
Your servant in Christ
Wallace B. Smith
President of the Church
Independence, Missouri, March 29, 1982