This weekend is something I have been looking forward to for a long time. For as long as I can remember, my birthday always went hand in hand with General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When I was younger that meant Buffalo Chips for breakfast, “going to church” in my pajamas, and getting to sit on a couch rather than in a pew. But as I got older it meant an opportunity to hear counsel from a living prophet and the apostles of the church. Listening to talks, experiences and guidance from the men and the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, men and women that I have looked up to so dearly. And amazingly, every conference there seems to be at least one talk, if not all of them from a session, that seems to be completely directed towards me. Towards the questions I have, the trails I am facing, and the things going on in my life. I know, without a shadow of doubt, in those moments that these men and women are called of God. I know that their talks are inspired by my Heavenly Father. And I know that they are listening to the words He needs them to say for his sons and daughters, for me and for you. I am so grateful to be a member of a church that has modern day prophets and modern day revelation, so that I can learn and grow and become closer to my Heavenly Father in these latter days. And I am grateful for General Conference as it comes every year to give me the guidance and answers I have been praying for.
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. The General Women’s Session was broadcast last week on Saturday September 24th at 6:00pm MDT. Priesthood Meeting will be broadcast October 1st at 6:00pm MDT. General Conference will be broadcast October 1st and 2nd at 10:00am and 2:00pm MDT.
When does the President of the church speak? For the October 2016 conference, the President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, will be speaking during the Sunday morning session at 10:00 a.m. MDT on October 2nd – but there are other opportunities to hear him speak throughout other sessions as he conducts and gives reports.
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 other questions please don’t hesitate to ask. I know that lots of times people are curious about other people’s practices but don’t want to offend by asking or they just don’t know what to ask. I am an open book and I am happy to answer any questions or have a discussion about anything. You can also read some more on #ldsconf from my friend here.