LDS general conference speakers may deliver addresses in their native tongues

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President Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks at the April 2014 session of General Conference. President Uchtdorf, from Germany, is one of many general authorities whose first language is not English. (Universe Photo)

The LDS Church will allow speakers whose first language is not English to give General Conference addresses in their native tongue.

Dale Jones, a church spokesman, confirmed the decision via email on Sept. 8. “Speakers at the general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose primary language is not English now have the choice to deliver their talks in their native tongue,” Jones said.

LDS general authorities whose first language is not English include President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency; Bishop Gérald Caussé, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; and Elder Ullisses Soares, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.

The majority of church members who attend semi-annual General Conference sessions in person in Salt Lake City are native English speakers, and so are many millions of members across the world who watch conference remotely. Jones addressed the accommodations to be made for them.

“English subtitles will be shown on screens in the Conference Center, and a live English interpretation will be provided for all other English-language broadcasts including satellite, cable, television and the Internet,” Jones said.

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