Proceedings of the 184th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will unfold from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday and Sunday, 5-6 April 2014. While more than 100,000 individuals are anticipated in the live audience in the Conference Center, millions will view or listen to the five scheduled conference sessions in 95 languages via television, radio, satellite and Internet broadcasts.
General conferences are conducted by the Church each April and October and comprise five two-hour meetings held over two days. The April meetings are called annual conferences and those in October, semiannual. The first general conference was held in 1830, the year the Church was organized.
Messages of Hope and Peace
During the conference, leaders of the Church deliver messages about a variety of subjects related to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Members of the Church approach general conference as an opportunity to be taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ from inspired leaders.
At the opening of a past general conference, President Thomas S. Monson said: “Those who will address us have sought heaven’s help and direction as they have prepared their messages. They have been impressed concerning that which they will share with us.”
In a recent post on the Mormon Newsroom Facebook page, members of the Church from across the globe shared what general conference means to them.
Fia Memea from Laie, Hawaii, compared general conference to a story in the Book of Mormon where people gathered to listen to a prophet. "They changed their lives for the better. I hope to do the same.”
Mayclaire Maghanoy from General Santos, Philippines, explained that general conference is like “food to my hungry soul.”
“It means days of edification and days of feeling the Holy Ghost,” said Sharon Nihipali-Larson, a member from Vancouver, Washington.
Zachary Wheeler from Houston, Texas, added that he enjoys "learning the will of the Lord and then trying to implement it in my life."
A Worldwide Audience
While the Conference Center in Salt Lake City seats 21,000 people, the audience for general conference extends around the globe as millions of Church members and others tune in. For over 50 years now, the Church has interpreted the proceedings in numerous languages, and today’s technology makes live viewing possible around the globe. In October 2013, general conference was viewed in over 200 countries around the world.
In addition to broadcasts in local Latter-day Saint chapels around the globe, the Church streams the conference live on LDS.org, BYUtv, BYUtv International, the Mormon Channel, Roku, Facebook and YouTube. Online viewership increased dramatically (approximately 30%) during the October 2013 conference.
The general conference YouTube channels stream live and archive the conference proceedings in:
This provides access on a platform that many people are familiar with and can easily access on a number of devices.
Many also hear and participate in sharing general conference through social media. A flood of tweets with the #ldsconf hashtag are posted on Twitter during each of the five sessions, which includes the priesthood session on Saturday evening. During the weekend, general conference is one of the most discussed topics on Twitter in the U.S. and sometimes worldwide during a given period. Last October, 155,000 tweets related to general conference were posted.
Through its official social media channels, the Church will immediately post messages live from the conference in multiple languages, and it encourages others to share those messages (archived here). During general conference in October 2013, many additional viewers watched or listened to the messages after seeing a post about it on social media. Due to that success, live posts will be expanded and will include Spanish and Portuguese.
Attending in Person
Tickets are required to enter the Conference Center, where attendees will pass through a security check. Cameras, recording devices, weapons, food, backpacks, packages and large bags will not be allowed. A standby line for those without tickets will begin at the north gate of Temple Square.
Additional seating will be available in the Tabernacle and the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square and in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for all sessions. Overflow seating will also be available in the Conference Center Theater for priesthood and Sunday sessions only. Overflow seating for all five sessions for Spanish speakers will be available in the Assembly Hall. Tickets are not required for the overflow locations.
Parking options in downtown Salt Lake City are limited. Conference attendees are invited to carpool or use public transportation to relieve local traffic congestion. Those driving are strongly encouraged to allow extra time for travel, locating a parking spot and being seated in the Conference Center. Public parking is not available at the Conference Center parking lot. Conference attendees should avoid parking in front of homes or downtown residential areas. Cars parked on neighborhood streets may be ticketed or towed at the owner’s expense. Disability parking is located at the northwest corner of West Temple and North Temple, but it is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Conference coverage, including photos, will be published throughout the weekend on MormonNewsroom.org. Additional information will also be posted on the Mormon Newsroom blog. Journalists, bloggers and others can retrieve this material by going to those sites or following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ or by subscribing via email.