“Mormonism in Pictures” is a photo essay feature from MormonNewsroom.org depicting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members around the world. Today we feature photos from the Church's 183rd Semiannual General Conference, which took place 5 and 6 October 2013 in Salt Lake City.
General conferences originate from the 21,000-seat Conference Center (pictured above) on Temple Square (below) in Salt Lake City.
At general conferences, Mormon leaders speak from Salt Lake City to Latter-day Saints gathered in various locations in 197 countries about the teachings of Jesus Christ. In one of this conference’s first addresses, Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said 97 percent of Church members can hear general conference messages in their own language. (See more information about the Church’s interpretation and translation efforts.)
Church President Thomas S. Monson encouraged members to follow the example of Jesus Christ in their interactions with others. Through doing so, he said, “lives will be blessed. Hearts will be comforted. Souls will be saved.”
Throughout the two-day conference, Church leaders addressed a variety of subjects, including Jesus Christ, humility, kindness, marriage, family and religious freedom.
General conferences matter to Latter-day Saints because they present an opportunity to feel closer to God through sermon and song. Although millions hear or view these conferences, Elder Hales reminded those listening that general conference is personal. “In conferences we can receive the word of the Lord meant just for us,” he said.
Speaking of the importance of family in society, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Strong families constitute the best way of providing for the health, education, welfare, and prosperity of rising generations.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged members to “work to improve the moral culture that surrounds us. Latter-day Saints in every country should be good citizens, participate in civic affairs, educate themselves on the issues, and vote.”
The Salt Lake Temple on Temple Square, pictured above, is one of 141 Mormon temples located throughout the world. In addition to regular Sunday worship, Latter-days Saints also follow the biblical practice of worshipping in temples. A Mormon temple is a place where the most cherished of human relationships are made eternal. Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Church’s general Relief Society presidency, taught members on Saturday that the work Latter-day Saints do in temples gives members faith and determination to face the vicissitudes of life. (See more information about Mormon temples and how they differ from chapels, where weekly worship services take place.)
In his concluding remarks on Sunday, President Monson encouraged members to “show increased kindness toward one another” and to “ever be found doing the work” of Jesus Christ.