What BYU students are hoping for in upcoming General Conference

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President Russell M. Nelson speaks to women of the Church during the women’s session of general conference on Oct. 5, 2019. This October he will be speaking to an empty Conference Center, with church members watching remotely. (Church Newsroom)

The 190th semiannual General Conference will take place in the first week of October and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging people to make this conference a part of their search for hope and peace.

BYU student Braden Reese from Meridian, Idaho said he is hoping for some words of comfort, but also invitations to act. “One of the toughest things during the pandemic has been searching for ways to give meaningful service and feeling connected to others,” Reese said. “I hope for some specific counsel on how we can love and serve our neighbors during this time.”

Reese said he also hopes for some details shared about the reopening of temples, but he doubts it’ll be announced in conference as Church officials usually leave it to the Church Newsroom to post announcements like that.

“I just want messages that will give me that hope and help me know how to find the strength to keep pushing forward rather than be lazy and get through life that way,” said Jared McCartt, a BYU student from Richmond, Virginia. “I honestly am looking forward to the spirit and amazing stories that the prophet and apostles are going to teach because that’s where I think I learn the most about Christ’s attributes.”

BYU student Courtney Weber from Parma, Idaho says she doesn’t think there will be any big announcements this conference. “Each conference I always hope that we will get the lost pages (Book of Lehi), but I don’t think that will happen yet,” she said.

Emma Creer, a BYU student from Austin, Texas said she is really hoping for an announcement of a temple being built in Austin. “Who knows if that will happen, but that would definitely make my day,” Creer said. She also hopes to see more youth speakers at this General Conference. “I think they did such a great job last session,” she said.

Creer said she’s grateful for many behind-the-scenes people making General Conference possible. “I do think that it is amazing how the Church and its leaders keep pressing forward despite these challenges.” 

BYU student Tanner Birtcher from Wheaton, Illinois said he’s also hoping for youth speakers this conference. “I think it gives us strength to see fellow youth members standing for truth and right,” he said.

Birtcher said it is a little disappointing that conference will be completely remote again, but Reese said the last General Conference’s remote delivery didn’t feel weird to him. Reese believes it is just as great an experience with or without a live audience.

Cami Staker, a BYU student from Mesa, Arizona, also said she can’t really tell a difference between whether or not conference is remote. “I always watch it online anyway and the camera only ever focuses on the speaker,” Staker said. “However, it is a bummer that my international friends’ excuses for coming to the states have totally been squashed.”

Staker also said she hopes for an announcement about temples opening back up. “I have zero idea whether or not that will happen, but I’m ready to go back,” she said.

Staker said she anticipates the talks will focus on the theme of consistency in Christ and how people can find hope, peace and healing in Him.

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