As the international death toll rises because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and borders continue to be closed to travel, it is not surprising annual activities are again being canceled, postponed or pushed to remote programming in 2021.
That includes April’s Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On Thursday, the First Presidency of the LDS Church -- which includes President Russell M. Nelson, First Counselor Dallin H. Oaks and Second Counselor Henry B. Eyring -- announced once again of changes to the annual event.
The First Presidency statement said the conference will be virtual only.
“The April proceedings will mirror the October 2020 general conference: The broadcast will originate from the Conference Center Theater on Temple Square, only the speakers and their spouses for a given session will be present in the meeting, and the music will be prerecorded from previous general conferences,” the statement said.
This will be the third General Conference of the LDS Church to be broadcast remotely. Typically the LDS Conference Center, which has a seating capacity of over 21,000, is filled to capacity with overflow in various buildings on Temple Square.
Some of those overflow areas are currently closed due to the construction and renovation of the Salt Lake Temple and portions of Temple Square.
Members of the church from throughout the world typically attend the conference, not only to hear from the leadership of the church but to attend other leadership meetings and open houses that are held as well at the two-day, five-session conference.
“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 said.
All sessions of the April 2021 conference will be streamed live on broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Sessions also will be available via Gospel Library, the Latter-day Saints Channel, radio, television, satellite and other digital channels. For information on five different ways to watch or listen to the upcoming general conference, visit https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/5-ways-to-watch-october-2020-general-conference-live.