LDS women plan conference get-togethers

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The women's choir sings the opening song for the women's general session in Salt Lake City on Sept. 26. (Screenshot)
The women’s choir sings the opening song for the women’s general session in Salt Lake City on Sept. 26. Many women not in the conference center gather together to reconnect with friends as they watch the conference sessions. (Screenshot)

The general women’s meeting for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allows many women worldwide an opportunity to learn and have their spiritual needs addressed.

Many take advantage of these conferences sessions to get together and reconnect with friends and family.

The general women’s session was created in April 2014 and combined the Relief Society General Meeting and the Young Women General Meeting. The session is open to all women ages eight and up and includes speakers from the Primary, Young Women and Relief Society general presidencies.

Since the women’s session became an official session of General Conference in Oct. 2014, many women have been celebrating this session of conference through gatherings with loved ones or church groups.

Amandine Giraud-Carrier, an art education graduate student from France, is Relief Society president of a local YSA ward. Giraud-Carrier’s ward is part of a stake-wide gathering that includes a meal and socializing before the broadcast begins.

Ari Davis
Women gather together to watch the General Women Meeting on the Saturday before General Conference. (Ari Davis)

Giraud-Carrier said she thinks it’s important that all women get together to watch this broadcast because it helps women be reminded of their importance in the church.

“I think it reminds us of our value,” Giraud-Carrier said. “Not that we need praising or for general authorities to tell us how great we are, but for us to understand our place in this world and realize our true potential as children of God.”

Giraud-Carrier’s stake is having a casual get-together, but other stakes hold more formal conference-watching events. Emily Gerday is a junior from Draper majoring in physics-astronomy. Gerday’s stake had a formal sit-down dinner in the Wilkinson Center ballroom.

Gerday said these meetings offer women the opportunity to bond. Gerday is an RA for a freshman ward and said this bonding time is especially important for freshmen girls who are attending Relief Society for the first time.

“I think (these get-togethers) are about forming connections, forming this idea that the women in the church are together,” Gerday said. “There are bonds that exist that are not only there because we’re all members of the church, but because we’re all children of God.”

Ari Davis
Women gather together to watch the General Women Meeting on the Saturday before General Conference. Many people have their own conference traditions, which they continue each year as they bond with family and friends. (Ari Davis)

Other women spent the conference weekend with families. Ashlee Oxborrow, a junior from Draper majoring in exercise and wellness, went to Salt Lake to watch the broadcast with her aunts, grandmother and mother.

Oxborrow’s family always takes time after the meeting to get dessert and talk, and this meeting has become an annual tradition in Oxborrow’s family.

“I think it’s nice because it makes women’s conference a positive experience,” Oxborrow said. “We get both spiritual and social nourishment.”

The general women’s session of conference was held Saturday, Sept. 26 and can be watched here.

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