Wednesday, September 25, 2013

LDS General Conference Priesthood Meeting to be Broadcast Live and Online

Yesterday the Church announced that for the first time members of the Church could view the priesthood session of General Conference via the internet and television within their own homes.  Prior to the announcement all priesthood sessions of General Conference were televised only to LDS meetinghouses.  The Church indicates that the decision to permit members to view priesthood session proceedings away from church buildings is part of an ongoing effort to make conference proceedings more accessible to membership around the world.  Click here to access the article on this news development.

This development will likely have little, if any, influence of LDS growth trends around the world.  The Church publishes talks for all General Conference sessions on its internet site in video, audio, and written forms in scores of languages within just a week after conference concludes.  The translation of General Conference into additional languages has potential to accelerate growth if missionaries and church leaders ensure that these conference resources are utilized among populations who speak these languages.  At last count, the Church translated General Conference into 93 languages.

21 comments:

Christopher Nicholson said...

I don't want to sound like an apostate but I find it extremely hard to believe that this is just "part of an ongoing effort to make conference proceedings more accessible to membership around the world" and has nothing to do with the women who have been trying to get priesthood session tickets. Why on earth couldn't they have made it "more accessible" years ago like every single other session? They also claimed that the decision to let women pray in General Conference for the first time in history had nothing to do with the unprecedented push for that exact thing. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Mike Johnson said...

The Priesthood Session has for years been available for download by Monday right after each conference. It is not as if they were trying to hide something.

That said, the answer may lie in one of the things that a priesthood quorum is:

1. A class
2. A service organize
3. A brotherhood

I think the main reason the Priesthood session has not been broadcast live is to encourage the brotherhood to associate together.

The same thing is true of the Young Women's/Relief Society session--to encourage sisterhood together.

Michael Worley said...

Did anyone say this has nothing to do with the women?

Also, this was on lds.org even quicker last time-- I think it was live. They've been moving in this direction.

Downtownchrisbrown said...

I was sick about a year or two ago and couldn't attend, but when I turned my internet on, there it was, live.

Michael Worley said...

Slightly off topic-- last night my stake had a training with our area authority about hastening the work. I hope these meetings (which I believe are church-wide) will help increase member missionary work, and thus help increase conversion

Christopher Nicholson said...

No, no one *said* this has nothing to do with the women, but that's splitting hairs. The Church itself teaches that withholding part of the truth, though not lying, is still dishonest. I was in a bad mood yesterday and I apologize for my tone, I don't mean to accuse the Church of intent to deceive or anything. I imagine they're just trying to put a positive spin on things and avoid dwelling on the issue, which is understandable, but I think it just makes the Church look bad to observers who can clearly see the role of unprecedented public pressure. I don't think there should be any shame in just saying "In response to increased demand by certain factions we are compromising by making the priesthood session more accessible" or something like that. This isn't like blacks and the priesthood, it's just a trivial detail, so there's no shame in admitting that such things can sometimes be changed in response to member feedback.

I think the same thing applies to women praying in General Conference. They said that the prayers and speakers had all been selected *before* they received the petition to let women pray, and I still don't want to accuse them of dishonesty but that's just too much of a coincidence for me to swallow after 183 years of women not praying.

Of course it's not as if they were trying to hide something - hence why I said "Why on earth couldn't they have made it more accessible years ago like every single other session?" There was no apparent reason not to broadcast it with the others and the only thing that's changed now is the women trying to get tickets.

Adam said...

I bet there will be less priesthood viewing the session because they no longer have to go out of their way to watch it. I'm worried there will hardly be anything that sets it apart over the years. Stakes and districts around the world have found ways for the members to still be able to view it at an appropriate time when traveling may be difficult. They have always made it available soon after for those just itching to see it but unable to in person.

If they did do it to appease the women with chips on their shoulder it was a waste of time, members like that will always find their own ways to leave the church or put enough doubt in their kids that their generations don't last.

I hope the same spirit that has always accompanied Priesthood Session can continue for years to come.

Michael Worley said...

Christopher--

I believe in Priesthood keys and revelation. I think it is entirely possible that the Lord inspired the prayer change to avoid his leaders having to cave to pressure or justify a rule that was just tradition. I also think having women give talks has been a more needed (and present) role then praying.

But that is neither here nor there.

Downtownchrisbrown said...

While on my mission in France I remember being told that the Priesthood talks weren't available to read right away while the other sessions were because of time differences and rebroadcasts. The idea being that they didn't want to ruin the meetings for those who wouldn't see them until the next day. We watched Priesthood session on Sunday morning.

Given how much of sessions are shared with Facebook and Twitter I'm not surprised at the announcement since most of the info is getting out anyhow, so they might as well just open it right up. I really don't believe that this has anything to do with any pressure from the outside.

On a personal note I am glad that I don't need to drive for an hour now for Priesthood session and can just watch at home like I do the other sessions.

Mike Johnson said...

The Aurora Colorado South Stake was created on 22 September. There are 7 wards in the stake:

Aurora Highlands Ward
Crestmoor Ward
Denver 4th Ward (Spanish)
Hampden Hills Ward
Heather Ridge Ward
Meadowood Ward
Seven Hills Ward


The Mandaluyong 4th Ward, Makati Philippines Stake, was created on 22 September. There are now 7 wards in the stake:

Makati 2nd Ward
Makati 3rd Ward
Makati 4th Ward (English)
Mandaluyong 1st Ward
Mandaluyong 2nd Ward
Mandaluyong 3rd Ward
Mandaluyong 4th Ward


The Missoula 5th Ward, Missoula Montana Stake, was created on 22 September. There are now 10 wards and 3 branches in the stake:

Clinton Ward
Frenchtown Ward
Missoula 1st Ward
Missoula 2nd Ward
Missoula 3rd Ward
Missoula 4th Ward
Missoula 5th Ward
Missoula University Ward (Student)
Ronan Ward
St Ignatius Ward
Drummond Branch
Seeley Lake Branch
Superior Branch

El Mirador said...

The Church can change in response to member feedback. The Church runs by revelation but that revelation can be received when a problem is brought to light. For example, when talking about women and the priesthood President Hinckley explained that it would be possible to extend the priesthood to women if a revelation were received allowing that. He also remarked that there "has been no agitation for it." It seems to me that we need agitation in the Church at times. We needed it regarding blacks and the priesthood and we'll need it in the future. I think it is counterproductive to start getting defensive when someone tries to discuss change that would benefit the Church. It wasn't "apostate" to push for full inclusion of black members in the Church and it shouldn't be when discussing other sensitive topics in the Church.

I have included a longer segment of the interview below to avoid anything being taken out of context. "DR: At present women are not allowed to be priests in your Church. Why is that?

Gordon B. Hinckley: That’s right, because the Lord has put it that way. Now women have a very prominent place in this Church. They have there own organisation. Probably the largest women’s organisation in the world of 3.7 million members. And the women of that organisation sit on Boards. Our Board of Education things of that kind. They counsel with us. We counsel together. They bring in insight that we very much appreciate and they have this tremendous organisation of the world where they grow and if you ask them they’ll say we’re happy and we’re satisfied.

DR: They all say that?

Gordon B. Hinckley: Yes. All except a oh you’ll find a little handful one or two here and there, but in 10 million members you expect that.

DR: You say the Lord has put it that way. What do you mean by that?

Gordon B. Hinckley: I mean that’s a part of His programme. Of course it is, yes.

DR: Is it possible that the rules could change in the future as the rules are on Blacks?

Gordon B. Hinckley: He could change them yes. If He were to change them that’s the only way it would happen.

DR: So you’d have to get a revelation?

Gordon B. Hinckley: Yes. But there’s no agitation for that. We don’t find it. Our women are happy. They’re satisfied. These bright, able, wonderful women who administer their own organisation are very happy. Ask them. Ask my wife."

Jason McDonald said...

There is an old saying my mom use to say that I am sure all of you have herd. There are starving kids in Africa. My problem with this idea is that there are real issues and women not being treated equal in the church is just not one of them. If a woman feels that she is lesser of a person because she does not have the priesthood that is more likely a personal problem or she lives in an isolated situation where the men in her life are not treating her right. Because I believe in action, the only thing I can take from this is to try harder to make sure the women in my life know how invaluable their roles in the church, society, and in my life truly are. I hope you all do the same.

Brooks M. Wilson said...

I agree with El Mirador that agitation can bring change in the Church. Hiram Page agitated, receiving revelation contrary to those received by Joseph and was rebuffed in D&C 28:11, "And again, thou shalt take thy brother, Hiram Page, between him and thee alone, and tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me and that Satan deceiveth him;...12 For, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him." Emma agitated and Joseph received D&C 89.

A person or perons who agitate are walking a fine line when asking Church leaders who are inspired of God to make changes in programs or policies of the Church. "LDS Church Growth" and "Cumorah" do a wonderful job walking this line when dealing with missionary work. From what I have read, the September 6 did not.

Ed Clinch said...

Policies versus principles.

Most of us church members with belief, knowledge and understanding of the history of the LDS Church plus a perception and hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ intuit that policies change and principles are eternal.

Many policies of the church have changed and will continue to evolve.
We believe in evolution, aka progression!
Principles do not change. At least, not eternal ones.

This change in policy of broadcasting could very well be due to the demands of some women who wanted to attend. Fair enough. The policy of priesthood allowed to blacks (1978), or men of all backgrounds having access to ordaination was certainly a bigger deal when that occurred.
The policy change of converting the Gentiles under Peter changed from Jesus' policy of administering to only the Jews.
So we should not be too shaken when polygamy is stopped under Wilford Woodruff and so popular under Brigham Young. But there were certainly outside pressures at play.
And the open broadcast of Saturday night priesthood session is convenient and possibly precipitated by some women's demands to be privy to it, albeit in person rather than via television.

Boiled all down, policies do change and I think a lot do have to do with changing atmospheres of our society. Catholics and other faiths face these real world pressures just as any institution.

But the eternal principles that the church (or any religion) embody usually remain.

I am glad for all people to have the chance to be more easily available to observe the priesthood session. As others have voiced, I hope it does not break up the solidarity of priesthood brethren, especially fathers and sons.

My wife will go to her Saturday session for Relief Society; I hope she feels the exclusivity of and the sisterhood she and all the women share in those meetings.

Last note about Church growth: should the Fredericksburg Stake split soon?

John Pack Lambert said...

In my stake they are strongly encouraging us to attend at our chapels. We have now for over a year had it so the broadcast was available to all chapels. There are two end wards where many people have to travel long distances to the chapel. However Belle Isle Brnach, where people are probably the least likely to have cars has the newest chapel in the stake fortunately built in the end of the branch where this case is most prevalent.

One of the other teachers in primary mentioned he will be deployed with the National Guard next weekend, so he would not have had any chance of watching priesthood session, so he will clearly benefit, and I am sure there are others.

John Pack Lambert said...

The decision to let women pray in general conference was almost certainly made before the radicals started pushing for it. The easiest explanation is that they knew it was going to happen and did the push for it to make it look like they had a victory.

I am actually not convinced that the decision to broadcast priesthood session was after the push by the radicals. For one thing, in my stake we have been getting priesthood session at chapels that don't have satellite dishes for 2 years, where as before that we had to go where there were satellite dishes. So there have been changes in the works for a long while.

John Pack Lambert said...

For what it is worth, the Relief Society and General Young Woman meetings have apparently been broadcast online and on BYUtv before.

I have to admit I had not heard anything about that until this announcement though, so I wonder if they were testing it.

On the other hand, having gone to the broadcast of the portion of the Mission presidents training seminar that was broadcast at my stake center, and having missed the first 5-10 minutes because the people responsible for setting it up seem to have forgotten about it, and since it was available online no leaders showed up to make sure things were set up, I have seen that when things are available for broadcast, meetings really suffer.

Priesthood Meeting probably won't if they still push attendance together, but from talking to my brother at a Provo YSA ward, it seems that people are not pushing it much. Of course when I was at BYU I would often go stay with my grandparents in Salt Lake for conference weekend, so the togetherness of priesthood meeting was never quite like we had at our stake center here in Michigan.

I understand the changes, but still miss the loss of the grand meeting.

John Pack Lambert said...

The claim that "we needed agitation regarding blacks and the priesthood" is totally a misrepresentation of the facts. The 1978 revelation did not come at the height of agitation on the issue, it came about a decade after agitation on the issue.

People who think women should receive the priesthood do not understand that the priesthood is the power of Heavenly Father. They do not understand how the temple operates, or what goes on there. They do not understand the basic function of priesthood as the reestablishment of fatherhood. Richard L. Bushman has a lot of insightful things to say on this last issue in "Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling".

The notion that 150 prideful women who do not understand that the power of God is in them, and view the priesthood too much as an honor and too little as a duty to serve are changing policy is just ridiculous.

Much more pressing are the needs of the many men who have work and family obligations that make Saturday night journeys to priesthood meeting very difficult. True, these are a small minority, but as long as you can still get strong turn outs at meetings, why not allow those who have other issues to view the proceedings live.

I again submit that the liars are the ordain women now. I am certain they had inside information that women would pray in general conference, and then started the push to give themselves an easy victory.

Michael Worley said...

John Lambert--

You shouldn't make that kind of assertion (That a group had inside information about the prayer) without evidence. If true, while interesting and perhaps useful, it won't affect hardly anybody's actions.

More importantly--if false, however, you are unfairly criticizing fellow saints.

I stand with the church on these issues; however we should reach out to these groups ("to the one" as President Monson says), not call them liars. If there was evidence, that would be a different matter.

John Pack Lambert said...

When people attack the brethren and try to grandstand and gain attention for their causes and to reflect negative attention on the church, I see no reason to not criticize them. Especially when they have so often and for so long engaged in attacking the church and spreading lies against the Church.

moblie phone said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...

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