President Wallace B. Smith submitted the following document to the quorums, councils, and orders of the church and to the World Conference on Tuesday, April 12, 1988. Major provisions included: (1) Apostles Lloyd B. Hurshman and Roy H. Schaefer were released from the Council of Twelve, and the vacancies were filled by A. Alex Kahtava and John P. Kirkpatrick. (2) The Presiding Bishopric was reorganized, with the release of Presiding Bishop Francis E. Hansen and the designation of Gene M. Hummel to serve in that role. Ray E. McClaran was called to continue as a counselor and Norman E. Swails was also called to serve in that capacity. (3) Since receiving counsel given in 1984, the church officers had been proceeding with the development of plans for the funding, programming, and construction of the Temple in Independence, Missouri. Further guidance on temple ministries is offered in this section. (4) The church is encouraged to seek unity and to resolve conflict through lawful procedures. (5) On April 10, 1986, President Smith brought an inspired message to the closing session of the World Conference. This ministry was directed to the delegates of the Conference and no formal action was requested or taken. Verses eleven to seventeen contain the message given at that time and it is now incorporated into the canon of scripture.
On Thursday, April 14, 1988, the World Conference voted to accept the inspired document as the mind and will of God for the church and ordered its inclusion in the Doctrine and Covenants.
President Smith offered the following prefatory statement:
"In fulfilling my responsibilities as prophet of the church, I have sought with much prayer and fasting over many months to open myself to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, my only desire being to discern the will of the Lord on behalf of the church. In spite of my human weakness, this effort has once more been rewarding and I have been blessed abundantly on several occasions by the presence of the Holy Spirit in my labors to prepare that which I now present. Therefore, I confidently offer the following as representing the mind and will of God for the church."
To the Quorums, Councils, and Orders of the Church and to the World Conference:
[Sec 157:1a] It is my will that Lloyd B. Hurshman be released from the Council of Twelve Apostles. His service, often extended in conditions of hardship and physical danger, is fully acceptable unto me.
[Sec 157:1b] He should be free to minister as a high priest under the direction of the First Presidency where his organizational gifts and skills may be best utilized.
[Sec 157:2a] Roy H. Schaefer is also relieved of his onerous duties in the Council of Twelve Apostles. He has served honorably in spite of physical burdens and is commended for his faithfulness.
[Sec 157:2b] As a high priest, he should continue to serve where his talents and ministerial abilities may best assist in supporting the work of the gospel.
[Sec 157:3] To fill the vacancies thus created, A. Alex Kahtava and John P. Kirkpatrick are called to be apostolic witnesses in the Quorums of Twelve. They should be ordained without delay, that the work may go forward effectively.
[Sec 157:4] My servant, Francis E. Hansen, is commended for the diligent and faithful, yet kindly, way in which he has discharged his duties as Presiding Bishop over the last sixteen years. He is now released from the burden of those responsibilities and, if it be the will of the Conference, should be ordained to the Order of Evangelists. In his new calling he may continue to offer his talents in assisting with the work of building the temple as well as in developing other ministries more directly related to the Evangelist's duties.
[Sec 157:5] Gene M. Hummel, who has functioned tirelessly and well as a counselor, is now called as Presiding Bishop. His gifts and skills commend his to this task, and he may serve as his health and vigor are extended. He should be ordained to that office without delay.
[Sec 157:6] Ray E. McClaran is called to continue as a counselor to the Presiding Bishop. His loyalty and service are acceptable, and he should also be ordained as soon as is practicable.
[Sec 157:7] Recognizing the need to complete the organization of the Presiding Bishopric as soon as possible, my servant, Norman E. Swails, is called to accept his place as a counselor to the Presiding Bishop and be ordained according to the will of the body.
In further word to the church, the Spirit counsels:
[Sec 157:8] I, the Lord, am well pleased with the progress of your preparations toward the building of my temple in the Center Place. Those who have prepared themselves by training and education to assist, whether within the body or otherwise, will be blessed according to their need insofar as they seek me and call on my name. If they will thus open themselves, then I will pour out my Spirit on all the laborers together, to the end that a shining symbol of my love and my desires for my creation may rise in beauty before the world.
[Sec 157:9] Nevertheless, do not be lifted up in pride as you contemplate the work of building, neither think to raise up my temple in vanity. The resources that are being gathered in for its physical structure and programs of ministry will in many cases be given at great sacrifice. Therefore, they must be utilized wisely, that all may be offered joyfully but humbly to a world in need.
[Sec 157:10] The church is admonished once more to cease contending over matters of doctrine and scriptural interpretation. Where discussions on issues are necessary, let them go forward in good spirit; and where differences are found let the procedures and remedies in the laws of the church be utilized, under the direction of the First Presidency, so that unity and resolution of conflict may be enjoyed.
It has further been made known to me that the instructions given on April 10, 1986, are as if they were given now and should be heeded as spiritual guidance to the church:
[Sec 157:11] Hear, O my people of the church, I am Jesus Christ of whom you have sung and testified and in whose name you pray. I am the spirit of love and peace which is in the world and yet not known by the world.
[Sec 157:12] I have heard your prayers which have been raised to me without ceasing, and I have sent my healing ministry as a dove to be in your midst. Therefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice in the promises which have been given for your assurance. Have I not said it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom?
[Sec 157:13a] Nevertheless, there are those of you who have been fearful and reluctant to trust in the instructions that my servant, the prophet, has brought for your guidance. As a consequence, some have faltered and lost faith.
[Sec 157:13b] Insofar as this has happened, you of my church have suffered and lost some of the spiritual strength with which I have longed to endow your ministries.
[Sec 157:14] But know this, my people. My Spirit will not always strive with those who continue to resist my word. I am pleased with the measure of response many have made, in faith, to new responsibilities in priesthood and leadership. For them are awaiting the rewards and satisfactions which service in my name always brings.
[Sec 157:15] Those who have allowed themselves to be lured away by other voices may never know such joy. They should be assured, however, that my invitation to come and be received is being extended even now so that the blessings of fellowship and participation in the body may be enjoyed once more. Come and be reconciled in my body is the healing word to those who are saddened and downhearted.
[Sec 157:16a] In the many places where you are called to labor, the forces of darkness and destruction are active indeed, and seem to hod sway. Your hearts are burdened by the magnitude of the tasks that are yours in bringing the light of my gospel into such darkness.
[Sec 157:16b] Nevertheless, I have heard your prayers when you have cried out to me, and I have been with you in the places where you occupy. I am aware of your desires to serve me and my assurance is that as you go forth, your offerings of faith and service are acceptable to me.
[Sec 157:17] In all your efforts, therefore, continue to trust in my grace and respond in love to the leadings of my Spirit. If you will come before me in unity and love I will bless you with a great outpouring of compassion, both for one another and for the world into which you are sent. Amen.
Wallace B. Smith
President of the Church
Independence, Missouri April 12, 1988