I imagine most of you have never been
to an LDS General Conference. If you have, like me, it may have
been many years. The last one I attended was in 1970. Linda
has never attended one before. So we were very excited to get to
attend. Making everything even more exciting was a visit from
Israel, Rainey, and the girls just before conference. They were
only here one afternoon but we got to spend the whole afternoon and
evening with them. Israel was so excited because he never got to
see temple square before. But they were headed elsewhere and
reached their destination ok this weekend per a text message Karen sent
As for conference tickets, we were very fortunate. Our stake sent
us tickets from back home. They were for the afternoon but we
were able to trade them for Saturday morning tickets, so we were able
to attend the first session of conference and see President Eyring be
called to be second counselor to President Hinckley. I was also
given a ticket to the Priesthood session Saturday evening. Here
are some pics of both sessions to show you some things you probably
didn't get to see on TV or closed circuit video.
This is where we sat Saturday morning, on the mezzanine. Great
You can see the people wearing translation headsets. You can also
see my finger in the lens.
(Ooops!). Conference is translated into 94 different
languages. We have 14 million members
who attend from all over the world. As I sat here, to my right
was a family from Cuzco, Peru
and to Linda's left was a young man from the Phillipines. In
front of us were another Spanish
speaking couple (I think they were from Madrid) and in front of them
were some Asians.
My little Kodak camera takes blurry photos without a flash when I zoom
so most of these
are telephoto. You can see the organ, the stage, and, down front,
the security personnel
facing the crowd and monitoring. Conference is open to anyone who
wants to attend so
long as they have a ticket. Many media were there. Since
the September 11 terrorist
attacks, security has been enhanced a great deal
We were not allowed to take photos during conference but many of you
watched it on TV
or closed circuit broadcasts so I thought I'd share the stuff you don't
get to see. Here's
one cool thing we saw after conference. These young missionary
sisters each have signs
showing what language they speak.
They each spoke in turn over a loudspeaker in their native language to
tell the crowd about
free guided tours and information available. There were 10
languages represented including
ASL (American Sign Language for the deaf).
Here's a view of the conference crowd looking South toward the Salt
Lake Temple and
temple square where we work. That's the Joseph Smith Memorial
Building to the left of
the temple. We work on the 3rd Floor.
Here in the distance to the left center of this photo is one of the
many detractors that keep
up their vigil on the sidewalk, just off church property. Most of
them want to tell us how
wrong we are. That was more than likely the goal of this fellow
but I though his sign was
clever and well thought out. It says, "I love Mormons."
In conference, our leaders posted a sign to instruct us to be kind to
these detractors. After
all, that's what the Savior taught us to do, isn't it? Turn the
Here's a couple satellite transmitters set up by some of the many media
As we crossed the street toward out apartment, Linda took this shot
aimed back down
toward the traffic, the police cars, and the conference goers.
This is view from the balcony on the opposite side of where we sat in
the morning session.
Another view from the same point.
I took these shots to show how large the crowd was.
Here's a view from the floor where I sat just before the Priesthood
As the church leaders began to take their seats I took this photo of
them on the front
row of the stand where the apostles sit. That's members of the 70
After the session was over I took a few shots you don't usually get to
see. This one if of
the three cameras on the floor. There are three other cameras in
the balcony and others
in various places.
Here's a shot of the controle booth. I think this is audio
only. I believe control for the
cameras is handled from a booth in back of the main floor of the
Here's a photo of the one of several booths for the media.
Here's some of the after conference crowd from the Priesthood session.
Last, here are a few of the metal detectors we now have to go through
just like airport
security. The guides are all part-time missionaries with a few
security personnel standing
around to lend a hand if needed. They're always kind and
thoughtful. Their goal is to
protect everyone so it's only a minor inconvenience. I sat the
alarm off every time because
I kept forgetting something. They just smiled and said it happens
all the time. They directed
me to the side where, together, we found what had set off the
alarm. The first time it was
my cell phone which I had forgotten. The second time it was my
There were tender moments during conference. Ninety-year-old
Elder Joseph B. Worthlin
almost fell when his knees buckled. From them on, he had to be
held up by Elder Russell
M. Nelson, a former heart surgeon rushed to the podium and held Elder
Worthlin up until
he completed his talk. Then 4 of the brethren escorted him to his
A funny moment was after 97-year-old President Hinckley announced Elder
Eyring as his
new counselor. As President Hinckley took his seat he passed
Elder Eyring and "Knighted"
him with his cane. The crowd went into an uproar with laughter.
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