What is the Mormon “General Conference”

A lot of people have heard about the upcoming 179TH annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or “Mormon” church). What is “general conference”? Why is general conference important to the Mormons?

As this is the 179th consecutive annual conference that the Mormon church has held, you can probably imagine that we take general conference pretty seriously. The great thing about general conference is that it is public- it is not a secret meeting only for church members, but a public conference of the Mormon church, open to the whole world.

You can even view the Mormon general conference online, as it happens, through streaming video and audio in a variety of languages. One the conference is complete, you can download transcripts, or listen to archived versions of the conference at your convenience. After a few weeks, the online conference materials will be translated into languages of countries around the world.

What do they talk about at the Mormon General Conference?

The short answer is that we talk about Christ and His gospel, the “Good News” that we can all return to our heavenly father through faith and repentance, and through following Christ’s example. There are a variety of speakers from the various organizations of the Mormon church, each sharing a message that they prepared themselves through prayer and inspiration.

Often, the messages that are shared will address the trials, problems and stresses that we face in our time. Issues such as unemployment, financial burdens, marital problems, and hope are often talked about. The goal of General Conference is to uplift and inspire. Those who listen usually walk away with a renewed desire to be more like Christ, and to have faith and hope in days to come.

When is the next Mormon General Conference?

April 4th and 5th of this year (2009) is the next Mormon General Conference. There are several sessions each of these days, with short breaks in-between. You can watch or listen live online at lds.org (there is an easy link there).

Can anyone watch/listen to Mormon General Conference?

Yes. The conference is open to all. General Conference is an exceptional opportunity to learn more about the Mormon church, because you’ll get to hear a lot of what we would normally talk about in our Sunday meetings. If you’ve been curious about the Mormon church, or about Mormon church meetings, the mormon general conference is an opportunity to watch or listen to Mormon church meetings from the comfort of your own home.

If you have questions about mormon general conference, or about something you heard during a mormon general conference, please feel free to ask here. Or, visit mormon.org to get answers from a live chat session with a mormon missionary!

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