Students Watched General Conference from Sea of Galilee Shore

  By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 22 April 2013

The recent general conference was especially memorable for dozens of students enrolled at the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.  Photo ©IRI.

“A lot of us had not anticipated that we would be able to watch conference at all during our stay in Galilee, so we were extremely excited to be able to watch it right on the beach after studying the biblical events in the area so thoroughly. —Jennie Smithson, BYU Jerusalem Center student

EIN GEV, ISRAEL

The recent general conference was especially memorable for dozens of students enrolled at the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Some 60 students gathered outside on the shore of the Sea of Galilee to watch the Sunday morning session of conference. A live Internet broadcast of the meeting was projected on the side of a shed located a short walk from the water.

The students—who were in Galilee as part of a 10-day trip to the region—recognized and appreciated the significance of listening to the words of modern day prophets and apostles in a sacred locale where the Lord and His apostles once walked and taught.

“A lot of us had not anticipated that we would be able to watch conference at all during our stay in Galilee, so were were extremely excited to be able to watch it right on the beach after studying the biblical events in the area so thoroughly,” wrote Jennie Smithson in an e-mail. “Everyone was so elated to be watching conference on the Sea of Galilee!”

Jennie added it was a wonder “to be instructed by latter-day prophets and apostles while imagining ancient apostles being instructed on these exact same shores by Christ Himself.”

The students struggled to contain squeals whenever Galilee was mentioned in a conference talk. Others were excited to hear the many references to missionary work. Twenty of the Jerusalem Center students—18 young women and two young men—have received or are waiting to receive their mission calls.

“We have all felt a really strong and special spirit of missionary service this semester, and it has added so much to the program,” wrote Jennie.