Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Showtime: 179th Annual LDS General Conference Set To Begin April 4th In Salt Lake City

Note: Information about the 179th Semiannual General Conference to be held Oct 3-4 is available in this updated post.

The twice-yearly showcase event of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at hand. The 179th Annual General Conference is set to begin in Salt Lake City on Saturday April 4th, 2009.

Update: See the following links for summarization of all sessions:

-- Saturday morning general session discussed HERE.
-- Saturday afternoon general session discussed HERE.
-- Saturday evening priesthood session discussed HERE.
-- Sunday morning general session discussed HERE.
-- Sunday afternoon general session discussed HERE.

Actually, there is a precursor event scheduled on March 28th. The General Young Women's Conference will take place in Salt Lake at that time. For the participants, it is obviously no less important. But the main event begins on April 4th. Rumours that massive numbers of gay activists might show up to protest the conference have not been confirmed; leading gay rights organizations say they have no plans to lead any demonstrations so far. But there may be a sprinkling of local protestors around Temple Square; it shouldn't be a problem.

From the LDS website originates these instructions:

-- Primary Location: All sessions originate from the Conference Center Auditorium on North Temple unless otherwise specified. Additional nearby locations have been set up for overflow viewing, and are detailed in this Deseret News story.

-- Dates:
---- Saturday March 28th, General Young Women's Meeting at 6:00 P.M. Attendance limited to young women 12-18, their mothers, and Young Women leaders.
---- Saturday April 4th, general sessions at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. General priesthood meeting at 6:00 P.M.
---- Sunday April 5th, general sessions at 9:30 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.

-- Tickets are required for admission to all sessions in the Conference Center. Contact your local priesthood leader in advance to obtain tickets. Tickets NOT required for admission to other venues.

-- Special Considerations (also includes information from HERE):
---- Admission to the Conference Center is limited to those ages 8 and older for general sessions and 12 years and older for the priesthood session.
---- Those attending are encouraged to park in designated parking areas only, as shown HERE. Better yet, consider leaving your vehicle where you are staying and take public transportation to Temple Square.
---- Sunday dress is encouraged.
---- Cameras, audio and video recorders are NOT allowed. Photographs are not permitted during the event.
---- You will be expected to turn off all pagers, cell phones, and simlar electronic devices while in the Conference Center. "Off" doesn't mean switch from "ring" to "vibrate"; it means "Off" as in O-F-F.
---- You will not be permitted to bring packages, backpacks, food, or beverages into the Conference Center.

Broadcast Information:
-- Local Utah broadcasting: Visit KSL Channel 5's information page on the conference. Also visit the BYU Broadcasting website for the times of KBYU Channel 11 broadcasts.
-- Live video/audio streaming of conference HERE.
-- Cable and Satellite Broadcasting: Information available via Bonneville Communications. Click HERE, then select either Cable/Broadcast or Dish/DirectTV/Satellite TV, depending upon which applies. Follow subsequent instructions to find out the information for your area.
-- At a local LDS chapel: Via the Church Satellite System.

Archives of previous General Conferences are available HERE.

If you have kids and want to get them interested in conference, LDSResources suggests the following activity packets:

-- 2009 General Conference Primary Activity Packet (14 pages)
-- 2009 Apostle Activity Packet for General Conference (17 pages)

For those who are unfamiliar, Wikipedia describes a General Conference as a semiannual meeting where General Authorities and other key church leaders deliver sermons and give guidance to the members of the church. Changes to church leadership are also proposed and sustained through the principle of common consent. General conferences are held on the weekends containing the first Sunday in April and the first Sunday in October. The April conference is known as the Annual General Conference, and the October conference the Semiannual General Conference.

The April conference includes annual statistical and financial reports not included in the October meeting. Both conferences are identified by the number of years since the church was founded in April 1830; thus, the April 2008 meeting was the 178th Annual General Conference, and the October 2007 meeting was the 177th Semiannual General Conference. The conferences have been held in Salt Lake City, Utah since 1848; in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square before 2000 and in the Conference Center after that.


Kate said...

For a Jack Mormon you sure have lots of great info and links for people who would like to know more. Thanks for the link to the live feed! I wanted to listen in but couldn't find a way.

Jack Mormon said...

Kate - I'm glad you find it helpful. Just because I'm not active in the Church doesn't mean I can't promote the Gospel. Remember the parable of the servants - the servant who merely had two talents did not envy the servant who had five, but instead chose to magnify his two talents.