General Conference Reach Continues to Steadily Advance

Contributed By Lisa Adachi Childs, Church News

  • 14 October 2014

Elder Eduardo Gavarret of the Seventy was the first speaker to ever deliver a general conference address in Spanish. General Authorities and officers of the Church were given the opportunity to give general conference messages in their native language.  Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • Over 2 million people watched conference through hundreds of thousands of digital connections.
  • Viewership increased for each session since last conference.
  • General Authorities had the choice to give talks in their native languages.

“I felt the speakers were able to better express themselves. That allowed me to feel the Spirit in a better way and fully understand the message in my own language.” —Alberto Marves, member in Guatemala

Every six months Church leaders and staff work tirelessly toward making general conference the most spiritually uplifting, strengthening experience possible. As technology has steadily advanced, so has the reach and ease of accessing conference worldwide.

The 184th Semiannual General Conference held October 4–5 marked the 90th anniversary of radio broadcasts and the 65th anniversary of television broadcasts for conference. Since the first television broadcast on KSL TV in 1949, the Church has made notable advancements.

A record 782,000 households participated in conference via TV, radio, cable, and Internet connections, with even more viewing from meetinghouses through satellite transmission. Over the weekend, more than 2 million people participated in conference.

Total viewership for the three Saturday sessions increased a total of 20 percent from the April 2014 conference, while the Sunday morning session was the highest viewed conference yet.

All social media using the hashtag #LDSConf was compiled onto a page. Tens of thousands of pictures, memes, thoughts, videos, and testimonies were shared over the weekend in an effort to #ShareGoodness, as Elder David A. Bednar encouraged.

An all-time record high number of people visited Sunday, totaling well over a million visitors.

All 38 general conference addresses were available to watch online almost immediately after each session was aired and have been available to read, watch, listen, print, download, and share in English since Tuesday, October 7. Messages in most major languages also are now available to watch, read, and download, and others will be available in the coming days.

A notable change in the most recent conference was that for the first time, speakers had the opportunity to give talks in their native languages. Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong delivered his general conference address in Cantonese; Elder Eduardo Gavarret and Elder Hugo E. Martinez spoke in Spanish; and Elder Carlos A. Godoy spoke in Portuguese.

Over 2 million people across the world participated in general conference through TV, radio, the Internet, or other channels. Photo by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News.

Members responded positively about the new addition to conference.

“I love this new format. We are grateful to the First Presidency for that change they made,” said Sister Argueta in Guatemala, who gave her feedback immediately following the broadcast.

A common thought some members expressed was that it helped them feel the Spirit stronger when they heard the messages in their own language.

“I felt the speakers were able to better express themselves,” said Alberto Marves from Guatemala. “That allowed me to feel the Spirit in a better way and fully understand the message in my own language.”