Although the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with society, is finding its way through a reopening strategy following a complete shutdown of in-person Church activities due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including a number of temple reopenings, the Brethren are clearly playing it safe in some other areas. As was the case this past April, the October sessions of General Conference will be closed to the public and broadcast from (we assume) the Church Office Building with a small number of in-person participants.
The First Presidency, the highest governing body of the Church, released a letter on June 4 explaining the move:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
While some areas of the world continue to experience the effects of a serious pandemic, other areas do not. 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.
Because of our concern for the health and safety of others, we have decided that the October 2020 general conference will follow the same pattern as the conference held in April of this year. The general sessions will be broadcast as usual. However, the general sessions will not be open to the public.
Additional details about general conference, scheduled for October 3 and 4, 2020, will be shared as they are finalized.
We pray that the Lord’s choicest blessings will attend you.
Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
Henry B. Eyring
The First Presidency
This is pretty straightforward. Presumably, music will be provided once more by the non-Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square via previous recordings. Speakers will mill about in the audience seats until it is their turn to rise to the pulpit. And hopefully the floral arrangement will look, once more, like the buffet at Sizzler.
“Virtual” General Conference was pretty solid, overall, and the humbler proceedings actually brought a certain spirit with them. We are blessed to have the technology to pull this off both at the last minute, as in April, and now in October, when there’s more time to plan.