April 2014 Mormon General Conference

It’s here again! The annual event has arrived once again when Church leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will gather in Salt Lake City to instruct Church members and the world as a whole. Members and non-members alike are invited to listen to or watch services. If you have cable TV, you can watch General Conference on BYU TV. The entire conference will also steam live on LDS.org.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

General Women’s Meeting – 6pm MDT

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Morning Session – 10am MDT
Saturday Afternoon Session – 2pm MDT
Priesthood Session – 6pm MDT

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Morning Session – 10am MDT
Sunday Afternoon Session – 2pm MDT

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April 2014 Mormon General Conference

April 2013 LDS General Conference

The 183rd Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be held on April 6-7, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Mormon Church holds a world-wide conference every six months in April and October. The April conference typically falls around Easter so many of the addresses will usually have an Easter theme.

Brief 10-20 minute talks (or sermons) are given by various leaders of the Church, including the Prophet and president, Thomas S. Monson; the counselors in the First Presidency; and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles. Various gospel topics are addressed throughout the conference.

Who Is Invited?

People of all faiths are invited to attend. For those not in Salt Lake City, Utah, the services will be broadcast to meetinghouses throughout the world as well as streamed online.

General Conference Schedule:

April 6

  • Saturday morning session: 10am MDT
  • Saturday afternoon session: 2pm MDT
  • Priesthood session: 6pm MDT (not available via live streaming)

April 7

  • Sunday morning session: 10am MDT
  • Sunday afternoon session: 2pm MDT

April 2013 General Conference will be a great event for you and your family. I always leave conference feeling uplifted with the messages of Jesus Christ and His gospel. I hope you can find time to attend!

Proposition 8 Supreme Court Case: Mormons’ View on Gay Marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court will hold 2 days of arguments this week about Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. This event once again puts gay marriage in the spotlight.

I’m not going to spend any time discussing the constitutionality of this proposition and act, nor will I speculate what the Supreme Court will eventually rule in June. But since this is back in the spotlight, I figured I would take a moment to discuss the Mormon Church’s views on homosexuality and gay marriage. Please note that my comments do not necessarily represent the views of the Mormon Church.

I know that this is an emotionally charged issue with strong opinions on either side. My goal in this post is not to start any arguments but rather to present the facts about Mormon belief. If you have any questions, please let me know or leave a note in the comments below.

What is the Church’s Belief on Marriage?

The Church’s view on marriage is best stated in The Family: A Proclamation to the World:

“We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

And later in the same document, it states:

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”

What is the Church’s Belief on Homosexuality?

Because of Mormons’ belief about the family and traditional marriage, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Church does not agree with or condone homosexuality. Again, from the Church’s proclamation:

“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”(emphasis added)

That being said, the Church has begun to recognize the complexity and sensitivity of this issue. Let’s be clear, Mormons are not denying that homosexuality is real, because it is. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have real and legitimate feelings for those of the same sex. But that doesn’t change the Church’s belief that acting on homosexuality is wrong. The Church recently launched a new website to address this topic: MormonsAndGays.com.

In Conclusion

In summary, Mormons believe:

  • The family is ordained of God
  • Marriage should be between a man and a woman
  • Homosexuality is contrary to God’s eternal plan for His children

Want to learn more? I would encourage you to read the entire proclamation released by the Church in 1995 which explains many beliefs about family and marriage. Read it here.

As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear arguments this week, I hope this post helped explain Mormons’ belief about gay marriage and this heated issue in our country.

58 New LDS Missions Created

mormon missionariesThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced last week it will create 58 new missions in response to a recent surge in missionary applications.

The news comes after an announcement made by President Thomas S. Monson, leader of the Mormon Church, last October in which the minimum age for young men and young women was lowered to age 18 and 19, respectively. Since then, the Church has seen an immense response from young men and women throughout the world who previously left for missionary service at age 19 (for young men) and age 21 (for young women).

Missionary service is an integral part of the Mormon Church. There are tens of thousands of Mormon missionaries throughout the world that serve in pairs, teaching individuals and families about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A mission is defined as a geographical area which is presided over by a mission president. Several hundred missionaries will be assigned to each mission. With the increase of 58 new missions, that brings the total to 405.

The new missions include:

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns, How Does it Work With the Mormon Prophet?

pope benedict
Via ABC News

Various news outlets reported this morning that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to resign from his position in the Catholic Church. As one of the largest religions in the world this is certainly a significant announcement, so it’s no wonder the story has been so widely covered.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church, has a leader who leads the Church world-wide as well. Mormons do not refer to their leader as the Pope, but rather the President or prophet. There have been 16 prophets of the Mormon Church since its founding in April 1830, but Mormons really see today’s modern-day prophets as a continuation of the type of leadership God has always had on the earth with prophets that lead His Church (think Moses or Abraham, or even Peter).

president thomas s monson
President Thomas S. Monson

The current prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Thomas S. Monson. He has been president of the Church for 5 years and succeeded the late Gordon B. Hinckley.

It’s not my place to comment on the Pope’s decision. But I thought I would take a moment to discuss how succession of leadership works in the Mormon Church.

The prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the leader of the entire Church. He appoints two counselors to assist him in his calling. He serves in that position until he passes away. The next prophet is chosen from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (a group of 12 men who help govern the church, just like the 12 apostles Jesus called in His time). The current president of that quorum at the time of the prophet’s death becomes the next leader of the Mormon Church. It’s a very simple, straightforward process.

In my lifetime I’ve witnessed this transition of leadership several times. Even though the Church always knows who the next leader will be, it’s inspiring to see the new president take that position. I wish the best to the Catholic Church as they accept a new leader in the coming weeks.