One eternal round, as they say! Keeping with what is now becoming something of a tradition, the First Presidency announced that the upcoming April General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be virtual only. This will be the third virtual or remote General Conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following October 2020’s broadcast from the Conference Center Theater and April 2020’s more haphazardly thrown together meetings that originated from the Church Office Building.
Similar to General Conference from last October, only speakers and their spouses will be in attendance in the Conference Center Theater and music will be provided by recorded material, presumably from the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
“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,” said the First Presidency last June when it announced last fall’s conference would still be virtual. The same applies today, and President Nelson has used the idea of good global citizenship repeatedly when discussing the Church’s role in combating the pandemic.
Meanwhile, there is a clause in the deed for the Conference Center that says if it goes unused for more than 18 months, it must be turned over to the Community of Christ.
What I just wrote is not true in the least, but boy would that be a bizarre reality!
We’ll see if things change for the October 2021 General Conference. Latter-day Saints have recently been reminded of the Church’s “longstanding support of immunization,” particularly when President Russell M. Nelson and other senior leaders received the COVID-19 vaccine in mid-January 2020. If Church members do their part in obtaining the vaccine and governments are able to marshal the resources at scale to immunize populations, perhaps we’ll assemble together once more in the main hall of the Conference Center.
With masks, of course.