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What Is the LDS General Conference?


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What Is the LDS General Conference?

Commentary by Jennifer Hicks | FāVS News

Twice each year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tune into what is known as general conference. Most are seeking guidance from leaders and listen to their messages with reverence and deep interest. It is common for people to receive personal revelation during conference for help with challenges of one kind or another, and members are advised to write down questions they are seeking answers for prior to conference.

The first general conference of 2024 took place on April 6-7 in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the Church Conference Center. There were five sessions over two days. In addition to attending in person, there are several ways that members watch general conference, including but not limited to, at ChurchofJesusChrist.org, YouTube and BYUTV.

The three members of the First Presidency along with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak at general conference. Other general leaders are also invited to speak, and all share messages that are meant to uplift, strengthen and encourage the over 17 million members of the Church spread throughout the world. Music was provided by the BYU Idaho Choir, BYU Choir and Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

History of General Conference

The first general conference dates to 1830, when members believe that the Lord restored his Church on earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. These special meetings impart a sense of belonging for members who live throughout the world, helping adherents feel connected to one another.

According to the Church website, there are approximately 800 people who work together to interpret and translate general conference into 98 languages. This year marks the 50th year of the Church making general conference available in languages other than English.

In 2000 the famed Conference Center opened adjacent to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Free tours are offered most days for visitors. The Conference Center seats 21,000 and was dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley. The building was constructed from the same granite deposits that were used for the Salt Lake City Temple.

Many members of the Church watch general conference at home with their loved one. It is a time of renewal and refreshment for Church members. It gives believers an opportunity to rededicate themselves and feel strengthened by the uplifting music and messages from their leaders.

General conference is a time that most members look forward to with anticipation and joy. After each general conference is over, the talks are published online and in the Liahona magazine, which all members have access to. They are encouraged to continue to study the messages for the next six months in Sunday meetings until the next general conference.

The views expressed in this opinion column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FāVS News. FāVS News values diverse perspectives and thoughtful analysis on matters of faith and spirituality.

Jennifer Hicks
Jennifer Hicks
Jennifer was born and raised in Spokane and is one of nine children. She graduated with a B.A. in music from EWU and plays the piano, violin and organ. She taught private music lessons and worked in non-profit fundraising including serving as director of development for the Spokane Symphony. She left Spokane for 14 years and lived in Hawaii, Italy, Maryland and Greece. She has been a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is passionate about her faith.

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