Many times in the past few months as I have contemplated the role that was to be mine I have been concerned that because of my inexperience or inadequacy the church might be deprived of the spiritual guidance which otherwise ought to be brought to it by the prophet.
This feeling of unworthiness has persisted as I have sought diligently with prayer and fasting to know the mind and will of God concerning the church. Nevertheless, I have presented our collective needs to God in faith, and in this spirit I bring to the Conference what I believe does truly represent his will and his instructions for the guidance of the church.
To the Councils and Quorums and Orders of the Church and to the General Conference:
In light of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the succession to the office of President and Prophet of the Church which presently obtain, I am permitted by the Spirit to offer the following counsel to the church:
A. My servant, W. Wallace Smith, having served the church faithfully as an apostle, as a counselor to the President of the High Priesthood, and for the last twenty years as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and President of the High Priesthood and the Church, is now honorably released from his heavy burden.
B. Retired from that office with the title President Emeritus, he should be free to minister as widely as his strength, interests, and spiritual leadings might suggest. His reward is sure, as is that of his companion, Rosamond, who has been a strength and support over the years, oftentimes in ways known only to me. They should both now be afforded the honor and respect due them for their years of service.
I have sought further for direction regarding the organization of the Quorum of the First Presidency and present humbly, but with assurance, the following for guidance.
Duane E. Couey is called and should be ordained as a counselor to the President of the High Priesthood and the Church and as a member of the Quorum of the First Presidency. He has extensive knowledge of the workings of the quorum and brings to this office an unusual degree of loyalty as well as a deep devotion to the cause of the kingdom. His ordination should be provided for as soon as practicable.
Maurice L. Draper has served as a counselor to the President of the High Priesthood and as a member of the Quorum of the First Presidency for nearly twenty years. During that time he has served with uncommon faithfulness and skill, and he is commended for his service in this regard. To relieve him of the pressing weight of administrative detail, however, and to allow him to respond to interests in teaching, writing, and ministerial development, he is to be free for assignment by the First Presidency as a high priest acting as a consultant to the Quorum of the First Presidency wherever and however his skills can be used most effectively in the continuing assessment and development of the educational and ministerial programs of the church.
To complete the organization of the Quorum of the First Presidency, Howard S. Sheehy, Jr., is called to extend his apostleship in presidency and without delay should be ordained as a counselor to the President of the High Priesthood and the Church and as a member of the Quorum of the First Presidency.
The Spirit prompts me to say further regarding the general councils and quorums and by way of instruction to the church:
William E. Timms, having served with distinction in the Council of Twelve since 1964, is now relieved of his responsibilities as an apostle. He is called to the office of patriarch within the Order of Evangelists and may minister with great power, especially among the people of his homeland, if he continues to seek me in faith and wisdom.
To fill the vacancies created in the Council of Twelve, Roy H. Schaefer and Phillip M. Caswell are called from their present duties. They should be ordained as my apostles so that they may take their places with their brethren who serve as special witnesses for the promulgation of my gospel throughout the world.
My servant, Harold W. Cackler, is honorably released from his responsibilities as a counselor to the Presiding Bishop. He should be allowed to retire and be afforded the honor of superannuation, although he should be free to serve in the office of bishop as his time and circumstances permit.
To fill this vacancy and to complete the organization of the Presiding Bishopric, Ray E. McClaran is called as counselor to the Presiding Bishop and should be ordained and set apart to that office.
A. Let my word be preached to the bruised and the brokenhearted as well as those who are enmeshed in sin, longing to repent and follow me. Let the truths of my gospel be proclaimed as widely and as far as the dedication of the Saints, especially through the exercise of their temporal stewardship, will allow.
B. My Spirit is reaching out to numerous souls even now and there are many who will respond if you, my people, will bear affirmative testimony of my love and my desires for all to come unto me.
C. Be steadfast and trust in the instructions which have been given for your guidance. I will be with you and strengthen you for the tasks that lie ahead if you will continue to be faithful and commit yourselves without reservation to the building of my kingdom.
Wallace B. Smith
President of the Church
April 6, 1978