BYU students sing at Temple Square

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Protesters at Temple Square have long been a staple at General Conference as they line the street across the Conference Center. But if people on their way to conference sped by them too fast, they may have also missed the young adults nearby singing hymns.

Sam Hales and Brittny Millington sing together on Temple Square during sessions to help conference attendees keep the spirit. (Photo by Sara Bitterman)
Sam Hales and Brittny Millington sing together on Temple Square during sessions to help conference attendees keep the spirit. (Photo by Sara Bitterman)

Members of the Provo YSA Ninth Stake were asked to sing hymns at Temple Square between the Sunday morning and afternoon sessions. They lined both sides of the walkway next to Temple Square, creating a tunnel of voices for people to walk through.

Observers would stop to take pictures and videos. Some even stopped to sing a song with them.

Bruce Mahoney regularly attends General Conference and appreciates the chorus. “I love to sit and listen to it,” Mahoney said. “It creates a good spirit by song.”

Brittny Millington, a photography major from South Jordan, said singing at Temple Square was interesting because the group was standing right next to where the protesters were. She said there wasn’t a feeling of contention.

“It’s interesting because a few protesters have walked by and given us funny looks, but we just smile and keep singing,” Millington said.

Adie Quackenbush, a special education major from Las Vegas, said it was scary to sing next to the protesters. She said it was fun to sing as a unified group and to see the responses from the members attending General Conference.

“It’s really cool because a lot of people kept thanking us,” Quackenbush said. “People come out with smiles on their faces.”

She also said the beginning was difficult because people in the group would be each sing different songs, but they eventually figured out a better way to communicate with each other.

Justice Arman, a public health major from Smyrna, Tenn., is a recent convert and transfer student to BYU. He said he loved the Conference experience and singing at Temple Square. “It’s nice to sing even though I don’t know all the hymns yet,” he said.

Many members enjoyed the atmosphere the singers created in contrast to the protesters.

Abril Martinez, attending General Conference from Monterrey, Mexico, stopped to listen to the music for a few minutes while walking by and compared it to the protesters standing nearby. “It’s very inspiring because some voices are against us, but this is great,” Martinez said. “It’s like angels.”

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