Every six months I touch on the same topic. Some of you will breeze right by it, but maybe for one of you it will be something you are interested in hearing about. If you haven't picked up on it yet - I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To put it in simpler terms for most people, I am Mormon. And every six months my church holds a General Conference. It is an opportunity for members of the church, and non-member for that matter, to all hear directly from the Prophet, the Apostles, and the leaders of the Church. Men and women alike speak in the language of their choice, mostly English, to share the messages they have felt inspired to speak on.
The thing I love about general conference is that religious concepts are principles are tied into real life questions. Whether you are LDS or not, there is something that can apply to the life situation you are in. You just have to be willing to tune in. You can watch on your computer, on the TV, or just listen on the radio. The other thing I love also is that it is an opportunity for people that have always wondered about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but haven't wanted to come to church or talk to the missionaries, get a first hand experience of what our church believes and practices without having to feel bombarded with missionaries and members.
What is General Conference? General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders.
Why does the LDS Church hold General Conference twice a year? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints hold a General Conference twice a year, once in April and once in October, as an opportunity for members to join together and listen to a prophets voice. This has been part of the church since 1830. Every week members can go to church to hear from local leaders and members of their ward family, but twice a year we can all come together to listen to words from a living prophet, a mouth piece from God.
How can I watch or listen to General Conference? You can watch live or listen live directly on lds.org. This year there will be 5 different sessions broadcast to the public. Priesthood Meeting will be broadcast April 4th at 6:00pm MDT. General Conference will be broadcast April 4th and 5th at 10:00am and 2:00pm MDT.
When does the President of the church speak? For the April 2015 conference, the President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, will be speaking during the Sunday morning session at 10:00 a.m. MDT on April 5th.
Does General Conference come in only English? Conference is translated into 92 different languages for members and investigators around the world.
Is there a way to get involved or see snippets from General Conference on social media? Members of the church will be tweeting quotes and thoughts from conference all week by using #ldsconf.
Will the talks shared at General Conference be available after it is done? Within 24 hours the talks begin to be available online. Over the following 6 weeks they are put into publication in the Ensign, a church magazine, Mormon Channel, DVD, Audio CDs, iTunes, and so many other places. The talks are translated into over 70 languages for people around the world. There is also an archive of past General Conference for anyone to read.
Are there large meetings in addition to General Conference? Most members of the LDS church attend church on a weekly basis, but in addition to the general conference meetings there is a General Relief Society, Young Women, and Priesthood broadcast. In those meetings talks are designed and inspired to reach those specific groups. These talks will also be available online.
If you have any questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints please do not hesitate to reach out! You can comment here and I will respond or you can email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Church isn't a secret, we love to share about it. In fact - you can hear from one of our Apostles why we love to share about the Church so much. Also, like I said earlier, this is not the first time I have talked about General Conference on my blog. You can read all my past thoughts and feels on General Conference here. This year I am ESPECIALLY excited about conference in April because it falls on the same day as Easter, which is a holiday I love and appreciate beyond degree. It is a day that we can celebrate the Savior and all he did for us. But I will share more about that in a few days.