The Conference Center

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“The Conference Center,” Friend, Oct. 2010, 6–7

A Year on Temple Square

The Conference Center

Come with us this month for a look at an important place on Temple Square.

Jacob E. watches general conference on TV at home with his family in Layton, Utah. But today he’s excited to be visiting the Conference Center in person. That’s because he gets to help show Friend readers what happens behind the scenes at general conference.

“The auditorium is awesome!” Jake said. Actually, it’s the biggest auditorium of its kind in the world. It can hold 21,000 people—7,000 on each of its three levels.

It was an amazing experience to stand at the same pulpit where President Monson stands. He can read his talk from these screens, which are invisible to the camera. He can check the time on a clock on the pulpit.

When it’s time for President Monson to begin the conference session, this sign lights up.

When someone else is giving a talk, President Monson can watch him or her on one of the TV screens.

Jacob visited the video control room, where the director of the general conference TV broadcast does his job. Jacob wore the headset that the director uses to tell the camera operators when to switch to a different camera. The director also tells the lighting designer when to turn lights on and off.

In the light booth, the auditorium’s 6,000 lights are controlled. A lighting designer showed Jacob how to dim the lights and turn them up. Jacob got to try out the spotlight and also to shine colored lights on the organ pipes.

What’s he doing behind the pipes? Each one of the organ’s 7,667 pipes has to be tuned. Brother Lamont Anderson showed Jacob how he taps a pipe to make the sound go higher or lower. The pipes are made either of zinc or wood. The biggest one, which is 43 feet tall, has the lowest sound.

Jacob was surprised to learn that conference talks are translated into 92 different languages! Before conference, a translator translates the written talks. Then during conference, interpreters for each language sit in little rooms like this one and translate any added or changed words they hear.

Now Jacob knows more about what it takes to bring the prophet’s words to people all around the world. The one thing he would like to tell Friend readers is, “Follow the prophet!”

Photographs by Steve Bunderson and Matt Reier