Photo Essay

Mormonism in Pictures: General Conference Spring 2016

Large crowds gathered on Temple Square in Salt Lake City during the first weekend in April for the 186th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mother Nature timed the spring blooms on Temple Square perfectly to delight the thousands of guests who came to participate in general conference.

The mild spring weather brought families with small children to Temple Square to experience general conference in person.

The worldwide conferences are held at Church headquarters twice a year so leaders can provide instruction and inspiration to members. “You have come to this conference to feel inspiration from heaven and to feel closer to our Heavenly Father and to the Lord,” said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, during his Saturday morning address.

Morning and afternoon sessions of conference were held in the Conference Center where thousands of Mormon faithful attended on Saturday and Sunday, April 2–3, 2016. A priesthood session was held for men and boys 12 years old and above on Saturday night. The general women’s session for women and girls took place the previous Saturday.

Millions more watched and listened to the broadcasts around the globe on television and radio and in Church meetinghouses and their homes via satellite and Internet. 

“By the miracle of modern technology, the separation of time and of vast distance vanishes. We meet as if we are all together in one great hall,” said President Eyring. 

Conference goers wait in line before they enter the Conference Center.

People travel to Utah from all over the world to attend conference, adding to the diversity of the crowd.

The Conference Center seats 21,000 people. The plaza fills with people immediately following each session of general conference.

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

A new Primary general presidency was announced during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference. New Primary general president Joy D. Jones embraces outgoing general president Rosemary M. Wixom.

Sister Jones embraces her counselors, Jean B. Bingham and Bonnie H. Cordon, as they joined her on the stand.

During the Sunday morning session, President Thomas S. Monson announced four new temples would be built in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Zimbabwe. “When I became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1963, there were 12 operating temples in the entire Church,” said President Monson. “Now there are 150 temples in operation throughout the world. How grateful we are for the blessings we receive in these holy houses.”

One of the dozen temples President Monson referred to in his talk is the iconic Salt Lake Temple. Spring blossoms on the trees and blooming bulbs around the temple provided a perfect backdrop for many photos.  

“Surely, today, in these trying times, each of us and our families need the temple more than anything else,” said Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy, who urged members to come to the temple in his Sunday afternoon talk. “As we feel the blessings of the temple in our own lives, our hearts turn to our families, both living and dead.”

General conference also gives members a chance to meet with friends and family.  

A mother reads to her daughter on the lawn at Temple Square.

Two girls near the Salt Lake Temple enjoy the warm weather during general conference

Sister missionaries greet visitors to Temple Square in Salt Lake City during conference weekend.

General authorities and their spouses visit with members of the audience before and after conference sessions. President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Wendy, talk to visitors prior to the Saturday morning session of general conference at the Conference Center.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles talks with members of the audience prior to the Saturday morning session of general conference at the Conference Center.

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Ruth, pose for a picture in the Conference Center prior to the beginning of the Saturday morning session of conference. Elder Renlund is one of the newer apostles. He was sustained last fall during the October general conference.

President Thomas S. Monson, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency attended all of the sessions of general conference.


President Monson greets Elder M. Russell Ballard and other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during general conference.

President Monson and his daughter, Ann M. Dibb, acknowledge the crowd as he exits the Saturday morning session of general conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

A bird’s-eye view of Temple Square during general conference weekend.

 A mother and her baby enjoy the spring blossoms at Temple Square during general conference.

A view of conference goers on the plaza from the inside of the Conference Center at Temple Square (looking through a window behind the building's waterfall).

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

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.