Every six months, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the opportunity to gather and listen to leaders of the Church from all over the world. These leaders speak and give counsel to those that are ready to receive revelation.
When general conference rolls around, some members of the Church develop and follow family traditions such as having a big breakfast on Sunday morning or giving puzzles to younger children so they can stay busy during the talks. As popular as these traditions are, however, not everyone at BYU-Idaho is familiar with this same culture.
Some didn’t know general conference existed until coming to school. It is something that has come as a bit of a surprise to these students.
“It’s a shock to me just because of how seriously people take it,” said Aeriale Diosdado, a sophomore studying business management and a nonmember. “Nobody is forcing anyone to watch these conferences, and it seems that people genuinely apply what these leaders say to their lives.”
Although they may be unfamiliar with general conference, nonmembers are still invited to come and see what the talks are all about by the many general authorities that are asked to speak. It is something that mainly long-time members look forward to, but others may also feel the blessings of these semiannual meetings.
“As a convert, I was able to go to conference really early on in my membership,” said Thomas Koster, a junior studying computer engineering. “It was one thing to find out about a prophet, but it’s a whole other thing to actually see him. It’s super special as a new member.”
Not everybody sees general conference the same way or follows the same traditions, but that doesn’t mean that everybody can’t benefit from it. Whether a member of 20 years, 20 days or not a member at all, general conference has something for everyone.