Sunday, September 20, 2009

179th Semiannual LDS General Conference To Begin October 3rd, 2009, Preceded By General Relief Society Meeting September 26th In Salt Lake City

Update: Have now posted summaries of the various conference sessions:
-- Summary of Saturday morning general session HERE
-- Summary of Saturday afternoon general session HERE.
-- Summary of Saturday evening priesthood session HERE.
-- Summary of Sunday morning general session available HERE.
-- Summary of Sunday afternoon general session available HERE.
-- Video and audio archives and written transcripts now available via the LDS 2009 Conference Page.

It's that time of year for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints once again. Conference season is at hand. 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.

It actually begins with a precursor event on Saturday September 26th. The General Relief Society Meeting will convene at the Salt Lake Conference Center at 6:00 P.M. Doors open at 4:30 P.M., and tickets are required. Messages will be given by a member of the LDS First Presidency and each member of the Relief Society general presidency. The main conference begins on Saturday October 3rd and continues through Sunday October 4th. Saturday general sessions will be held at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. The Saturday evening general priesthood meeting will be held at 6:00 P.M. And the Sunday general sessions will be held at 9:30 A.M. (which includes Music and the Spoken Word) and 2:00 P.M. Tickets required for all sessions.

From the LDS website Conference Page comes these instructions:

-- Primary Location: All sessions originate from the Conference Center Auditorium on North Temple unless otherwise specified. Additional nearby locations will be set up for overflow viewing. The April conference's overflow locations were detailed in this Deseret News story and may be used again this time.

-- Dates:
---- Saturday September 26th, General Relief Society Meeting at 6:00 P.M. Attendance limited to women.
---- Saturday October 3rd, general sessions at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. General priesthood meeting at 6:00 P.M. (priesthood session limited to males 12 and older)
---- Sunday October 4th, 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. This time, a special provision has been added for international visitors. Those visiting Salt Lake from outside the United States and Canada who have been in the country less than six months may be eligible to receive tickets to general conference. These individuals may enter at door 5 of the Conference Center beginning Monday, September 28th, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. to obtain tickets. In order to receive tickets, a valid passport and I-94 form will be required to determine eligibility. Each individual seeking to obtain tickets must come in person.

-- 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. The Deseret News publishes information about TRAX and FrontRunner service HERE.
---- 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 Sept 26 Relief Society meeting HERE.
-- Live video/audio streaming of Oct 3-4 general 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 HERE.
-- Live broadcasts also possible via the Mormon Channel, which is LDS Radio. The Mormon Channel widget is embedded on the sidebar of this blog.

Archives of previous General Conferences are available HERE.

If you have kids and want to get them interested in conference, there are two separate resources available:

-- LDSResources has a 20-page Primary Activity Packet available.
-- LDS Media Talk discloses the availability of Friend Magazine's 10-page General Conference Notebook.

Additional ideas for engaging kids are presented on the Mormon World blog.

1 comment:

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