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 me.

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 seats.

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 other cheek?

Here's a couple satellite transmitters set up by some of the many media who attended.

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 session.

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 behind them.

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 conference center.

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 watch.

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 seat.

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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