Attendees display excitement at in-person General Conference

(Abby Gunderson, Church Newsroom YouTube)

The Conference Center wasn’t at full capacity, but the energy and excitement surrounding General Conference filled downtown Salt Lake this weekend. After two years of streaming online, the Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was back in person.

The audience was half its usual size, but the excitement of being back made up for the lack of people.

“I think everyone was more excited. I felt so much more excited to be in person,” conference attendee Angela Barreda said.

The two-day conference saw the re-organization of two presidencies. In a historic calling, Tracy Y. Browning will serve as the second counselor in the Primary General Presidency, the first black woman in a churchwide presidency.

President Camille N. Johnson, who has served as the Primary General President for the past year, will serve as the Relief Society General President. Susan H. Porter, the former first counselor in the Primary presidency, will serve as Primary General President. The callings are effective August 1.

Several speakers focused on mental health and suicide prevention, tackling a subject that has not been talked about much in the past.

“I have a lot of friends and family who struggle with it, so seeing them emphasize helping those with mental health was amazing,” attendee Zach Bulloch said.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was one of the speakers who touched on the subject. “We must commit ourselves fully to that gift of life and run to the aid of those who are at risk of giving up this sacred gift,” Elder Holland said.

Many of the talks also focused on missionary service.

“Being a former missionary it definitely helped motivate me to share the gospel even more as well as help my siblings get out on missions and serve missions themselves,” Jackson Keeler from Iowa said.

President Russell M. Nelson announced 17 new temples, making 100 total temple announcements since he became president of the Church in 2018.

Conference recordings are available on the Church’s website. Transcripts of the messages will be published in the next few weeks.

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