|The LDS Conference Center, Salt Lake City, Utah|
If going to church weekly is meat and potatoes for my hungry soul, General Conference is a gourmet feast prepared by the most talented chefs on earth.
|President Thomas S. Monson|
|Conference Center interior|
|The famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir|
|The Conference Center holds 26,000 people and will be packed|
The fact is, General Conference isn’t anything like church on any other weekend, when Latter-day Saint singles and families normally attend a chapel and worship service closer to home. General Conference is not really a conference at all, in the usual sense of the word. There will be no great debates, no huge policy changes to announce to the general membership. You can be certain that there will be no political addresses from the podium, and it’s highly unlikely anyone will mention even indirectly the two Latter-day Saints running for President of the United States.
What people come for is altogether different. General Conference - all five two-hour sessions of it - is a collection of sermons. But for people who have come to the Conference Center, or for people who watch it at home on TV or the Internet, or in a live or time-delayed broadcast in some far-flung part of the world, this is a time for listening and thinking.
Mormons regard their leaders -- members of the three-man First Presidency, the Twelve apostles or what is known as the Seventy (another New Testament parallel) -- in the same way that early Christians considered the apostles whom Jesus called to service. They are respected, even revered. They are not infallible and none would claim to be. But for several months each has been pondering and praying about what message he should deliver to the worldwide membership. Leaders do not necessarily confer with each other. There is no coordination of messages. Each speaker, whether man or woman, looks for inspiration in choosing his or her subject, drawing on personal prayers and life experience as well as their interactions with members as they travel the world.
On the receiving end, the listener also has work to do. Whether an American sitting in a comfortable seat in the Conference Center, or a Siberian widow listening to a Russian translation piped into her chapel in Novosibirsk, the intent is the same. Each listens for inspiration or encouragement. Many members carry personal and private burdens and need shoring up. Some face challenges in their own lives that demand insight beyond their own wisdom. It may be for a wayward child or a sick parent, or any of a host of other troubles. All will listen to the 20-plus addresses over the weekend for what seems most relevant to them. Many will ponder and pray and find ways to help them be better parents, better husbands and wives, better sons and daughters, better neighbors, better followers of Jesus Christ.
General sessions will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. Pacific Time) and 2 p.m., (1 p.m. Pacific Time). Two more general sessions will be held on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.(8:30 Pacific Time) and 2:00 p.m. mountain daylight time (1 p.m. Pacific Time); the morning session includes the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.
The Tabernacle Choir usually performs for the Sunday sessions. (Another wonderful reason to tune in!)
Live broadcasts will be available at the following locations:
• Conference.lds.org: video and audio in multiple languages
• Mormonchannel.org and Mormon Channel mobile apps: video and audio in English only
• BYU.tv: video and audio in multiple languagesIn addition, many local cable and radio stations make the conference readily available. Visit www.bonneville.info for broadcast information or check local listings.
• Facebook.com/LDS: video in English only (Choose “General Conference” from the left menu.)
• Roku Channel: video only in multiple languages (Search for general conference under the “Spiritual” category.)
Click here to read more about Conference and how it can bless your life: