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TALLAHASSEE- Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will gather virtually this weekend (April 3-4) for the church’s semiannual General Conference.
The Tallahassee Stake of the church includes congregations in Tallahassee (7), Thomasville, Cairo, Quincy, Perry, Crawfordville, and Madison.
Although COVID-19 continues to prevent large in-person gatherings, more people than ever are tuning in to general conference thanks to technology. The potential audience for the April 2021 conference will be larger than any previous Church gathering.
In addition to the reach of the Church’s online broadcast, at least one session of the weekend proceedings will be broadcast on television and radio stations in more than 70 countries — many for the first time. This includes the NBC-owned stations TeleXitos (a subchannel of Telemundo) and COZI TV.
This builds on the momentum of the October 2020 general conference. During the fall proceedings, at least one (and sometimes several or all) conference sessions were distributed by some 200 public broadcasting channels via national or regional television and radio. The October conference reached people in 50 countries in the regions of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the Pacific and South America.
Abam Ekpenyong, a Latter-day Saint from Nigeria, said the conference’s messages were timely. “We had prepared very much for the conference,” he said. “It helped to address some of our problems, especially concerning this trying time during COVID-19.”
In Guatemala, conference sessions were interpreted live into Qʼeqchi’, a Mayan language spoken by communities in that country. This version of conference aired on a radio station for non-Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints in the region. Guatemalan Saints rejoiced when they heard Church President and Prophet Russell M. Nelson announce plans to build a third temple in their country.
Latter-day Saints from 13 countries in the Pacific tuned in to the October conference. For the first time, the conference was broadcast on television and radio across Kiribati, an island country in the central Pacific Ocean. The timing was fortuitous: In the final session of the conference, President Nelson announced that the Church will build its first temple in the country.
“We all shouted with joy while listening to the announcement,” said Fatele Fetapo, a Church member from Kiribati. “On Sunday we were able to listen on the radio in our own language. And that is another blessing to us, especially for our brothers and sisters who lived on the outer islands.”
The global broadcast will originate from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference consists of five sessions:
- Saturday at Noon EDT.
- Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
- Saturday at 8:00 p.m. EDT. This session is addressed to boys and men ages 11 and up, but everyone is welcome to view it.
- Sunday at Noon EDT.
- Sunday at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
All sessions will be streamed live on broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. You can also watch and listen on Gospel Library, YouTube, radio, television, satellite, and other channels.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, music for the conference will be prerecorded from previous general conferences. At each session, only the speakers and their spouses will be present in the Conference Center.
“As a worldwide organization, we have an obligation to be good citizens and to act with caution as it relates to such a unique setting as general conference, which traditionally brings thousands of visitors to Salt Lake City from around the globe,” the First Presidency of the Church has said.
Following the broadcast, the messages will be available in text, audio, and video formats on multiple channels for on-demand viewing and studying. These channels include Gospel Library, YouTube, conference.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, and the Church magazines.