General Conference through the Years
previous next

“General Conference through the Years,” Liahona, April 2020

General Conference through the Years

Salt Lake Tabernacle

Now in its 190th year, general conference is a long-standing tradition every April and October, but there have been some interesting changes over the years:

  • 1830

    Two months after the Church was organized, Joseph Smith presided over the first general conference in Fayette, New York. About 30 members and several others attended.

  • 1850

    The Deseret News published the first full report of conference because a young reporter, George D. Watt, had been able to transcribe the talks in shorthand.

  • 1867

    General conference lasted four days instead of the usual three because the congregation voted to stay an extra day.

  • 1924

    Microphones were first used at the pulpit in the Tabernacle. Previously, speakers had to rely on the strength of their voices to be heard.

  • 1949

    Using cameras in the Tabernacle, conference was first broadcast on television.

  • 1962

    Talks were interpreted into other languages—German, Dutch, and Spanish—for the first time in the Tabernacle. Now talks are interpreted in over 90 languages!

  • 1967

    General conference was broadcast on TV in color. The men of the Tabernacle Choir wore light blue jackets, and the women wore salmon-colored blouses.

  • 1977

    Changing from three days and six general sessions, conference lasted two days and included five general sessions.

  • 2000

    The new Conference Center in Salt Lake City, seating 21,000 people, hosted its first general conference.