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 who are interested gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders.

When is general conference?

General conference is held the first weekend in April and October. The next general conference will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, 2011.  General sessions are held on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain time. A priesthood session is held on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. mountain time.

How is the live event made available?

The live event is held in the ConferenceCenterin Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. To attend, see ticket information.  General conference is broadcast via satellite to Church meetinghouses throughout the world, and it is available through television, radio, the Internet, and other media.

Check local program listings for availability in your area, or visit bonneville.infobyubroadcasting.orgksl.commormonchannel.org, or mobile.lds.org for more information.  Learn how to watch conference on a Roku device.  To learn about worldwide broadcast times and options for the upcoming conference, see the broadcast schedule.

When and how will the conference addresses be available after conference?

General conference addresses are published in many textvideo, and audio formats in multiple languages and multiple channels (such as the Church website, YouTube, iTunes, Roku, and mobile apps).  For more information, including subscription details, see When Conference Materials Will Be Available.

How do I prepare myself and my family for general conference?

General conference is intended to be a revelatory experience as participants learn from living prophets and apostles through the power and influence of the Holy Ghost. Proper preparation will help ensure that you get the most out of the conference experience.

 

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Find out more about General Conference at the General Conference pages at LDS.org

 

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

 For highlights from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk on “The Blessings of Conference“, visit this page at LDS.org

 

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.

In this sense, General Conference has never been primarily about the logistics or the trappings of organization, enormously impressive and complex though they are.  Like the scriptures, the true relevance of the revelatory sermons of General Conference is in the lives of the members they touch.  The most important transformation is not in the city environs, but in the potential for change in the hearts of the listeners.

From a recent post by Michael Otterson in the On Faith section of The Washington Post