Photo Essay

Mormonism in Pictures: General Conference Fall 2016

Thousands of people from around the world gathered on Temple Square in Salt Lake City during the first weekend in October for the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


The temperatures were unseasonably warm for general conference weekend as Latter-day Saints came to receive counsel and messages of inspiration from their leaders.

The worldwide conferences are held at Church headquarters twice a year. Morning and afternoon sessions of conference, along with a Saturday evening session, were held in the Conference Center, where thousands of faithful Mormons attended on Saturday and Sunday, October 1–2, 2016.


The first session of general conference, the general women’s session for women and girls 8 years old and above, took place the previous Saturday, September 24, 2016.


“I pray that we may all see our true potential and rise up to become the women of faith and courage our Father in Heaven needs us to be,” said Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women general president, during the general women’s session.


Men and boys 12 years old and older wait in line to go through security and get their tickets scanned to enter the Conference Center on Saturday night for the priesthood session.


The general priesthood session often gives fathers and sons an opportunity to spend the evening together. “As we are converted, we are to reach down to strengthen our brethren,” said President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency.


Members of the Church vote to sustain their leaders during general conference. President Eyring presented the names of the general officers and Area Seventies during the Saturday afternoon session.


The Church has more than 15.6 million members worldwide. The Church was formally organized in 1830 when the first general conference was held.


Some Latter-day Saints are able to travel to Utah from all over the world to attend general conference in person.


The first time general conference was held in the 21,000-seat Conference Center was in April 2000, before it was completely finished. It was dedicated in October 2000 by President Gordon B. Hinckley.


The Conference Center is equipped with high-tech broadcast equipment, enabling millions of people to watch and listen to the general conference broadcasts around the globe on television and radio and in Church meetinghouses and their homes via satellite and internet. The building also has water features and a rooftop garden.


The plaza fills with people before and after each session of general conference.


A quick rain shower surprised attendees right before the Sunday afternoon session.


Visitors can also watch the proceedings in overflow buildings on Temple Square, such as the historic Tabernacle.


Conference proceedings are translated into Spanish for those listening to the live sessions in the Assembly Hall.


All of the sessions are broadcast in English, but the meetings are provided in a total of 94 languages.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir provides much of the music for general conference, but some sessions feature special choirs made up of members from Utah. Missionaries from the Provo Missionary Training Center provided the music for the Saturday afternoon session.

“Music elevates our thoughts and feelings,” said Elder Peter F. Meurs of the Seventy in his Sunday morning address on the sacrament.


A group of Latter-day Saints sings hymns on Temple Square Sunday morning.


“At the very moment we say ‘Father in Heaven,’ He hears our prayers and is sensitive to us and our needs,” said Juan A. Uceda of the Seventy during the Saturday morning session.


Many Latter-day Saints gather on Temple Square during general conference weekend to see friends and family.


A family runs across the street, anxious to attend the Saturday morning session of general conference. “I don’t know if anything in this world could bring more happiness and joy than to know that our children know the Savior,” taught Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy during the Sunday afternoon session.


A mother and her children relax at the reflecting pool on Temple Square Saturday morning.


“We are eternal beings, without beginning and without end,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency during the Saturday morning session of general conference.


President Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet, wave to the crowd following the Saturday afternoon session. General authorities and their spouses greet members of the audience before and after conference sessions.


President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors attended all of the sessions of general conference.


“From the depths of my soul and in all humility, I testify of the great gift which is our Father’s plan for us. It is the one perfect path to peace and happiness both here and in the world to come,” said President Monson in the Sunday morning session of general conference.


To watch, listen to and read the October conference talks, visit

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