Saturday, October 4, 2014

Re: General Conference

Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah

I'm always amazed at how quickly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes its annual and semi-annual general conferences available online after the fact.

Video and audio files for today's sessions are already up. English transcripts will be posted within two days of the conference and translations into over 50 languages will be available within 1 to 8 weeks.

In case you're not familiar with general conference, let me sum it up: twice each year on the first weekend of April and October the leaders of our faith meet at the church's headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they speak to us on any variety of topics ranging from Jesus Christ to caring for the poor and needy to the responsibilities of parents to teach their children.

Today's sessions were notable for being the first in which church leaders had the option to speak in their native language rather than English, as was customary. Two men took the opportunity, with one speaking in Cantonese and another in Spanish. It was an important recognition that the church is truly an international faith. Since the early 2000s, more members have resided outside the United States than in, and there are more non-English speakers than English speakers.

When I was a kid it seemed that conference weekend lasted for an eternity. Now it's as if I blink and it's gone already. I've enjoyed the sessions immensely so far and am looking forward to tomorrow's.

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