News Release

What is the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Twice a year, the Prophet of the Church and the Apostles send God-inspired messages to millions of Latter-day Saints who gather around the world to hear them.

What is General Conference?

The General Conference is a semi-annual meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held on the first weekend of April and October.


All Latter-day Saints, and other interested persons, are invited to attend and listen to the uplifting messages shared here. The General Conference is held only at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, however, it is broadcast by radio, satellite transmission, and the Internet, to people around the world.

The conference takes place over five two-hour sessions. Each spring a special session is held for men aged 12 and over, and in autumn a special for women 8 years and older.

What happens during General Conference?

During the General Conference, the President of the Church and the twelve Apostles who lead it send messages through various religious and spiritual themes. It is a special opportunity to listen to the messages God has inspired them to give.

During the conference, men and women Church leaders speak and pray, and Church affairs are held. Musical numbers are also performed, provided by the world-famous Tabernacle Choir and others.

Conference messages are translated into more than 90 languages and are subsequently published online and in the Church Liahona.

History of General Conference

The first general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held in Fayette, New York, on June 9, 1830, just two months after the Church was organized. Only 27 members of the Church were presented at this first conference and it was more of an administrative meeting as opposed to what is now a General Conference.

Church leaders were subjected to sustained vows (a special vow where Church members can show their support), the scriptures were read aloud, and certain Church leaders were ordained priests.

Although sustained vows are still part of the general conferences of Latter-day Saints, over time the conferences became closer and closer to what they are now, with more sermons and talks given by Church leaders.

In the mid-1800s, general conferences were held in various locations in the United States (Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, and others), while Latter-day Saints migrated to western Utah. The conference of 1848 was held in a partially open-air structure. Later, these early Saints built a structure of adobe for conference sessions, and in 1867 the construction of a special church building called The Tabernacle was completed. General conferences were held there from 1876 to 2000, when the present Conference Center was built.

Today's Conference Center has a capacity of up to 21,000 people at a time, and more than 100,000 people attend throughout the five sessions of each conference.

The General Conference was first broadcast in 1923. Local television broadcasting began in 1949, and conference messages were translated from English to different languages in 1962.

Satellite broadcasts began in 1975, and in early 1999 general conferences became available online. Today it is possible to watch the conferences through, YouTube and other applications, in addition to being now available in 93 different languages.

Why are general conferences important?

Whether you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not, general conferences are a unique opportunity to receive God's guidance in your life. You should know that speakers are not assigned specific topics, yet they pray to know what to talk about and are inspired by God.

Taking the time to listen to general conference is one way to show God that you are seeking His influence and that you care about the messages He wants to share with you.

Before the conference, pray to know what God would like you to learn through it, and reflect on spiritual questions you may have. During the conference, you can realize that your questions are being answered, either by something the speaker says or by the influence of the Holy Ghost, who can teach the truth to your mind and heart.

To find out when the next General Conference will be held and how you can participate, visit

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