Families travel from near and far to view the afternoon session of General Conference


Families came from both near and far to view the afternoon session of General Conference on Saturday, April 6, 2024. The session had seven different speakers, three of them apostles, with an array of hymns sung by the BYU-Idaho student choir.

The Cilia family. Gerardo Cilia enjoys attending because there is always a spirituality felt here, he said. “It’s very important.” (Isaac Rascon)

Aldara Cilia and her husband, Gerardo Cilia, live in Utah County, and they decided to come Saturday because they were inspired by their son, Aldara Cilia said.

“Yesterday his seminary teacher told him about General Conference and he got so excited and he’s like ‘Mom! We have to go, we have to go, we have to go!’” she said.

Inspired by their son’s example, they came last minute with no tickets and were able to get in.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve began the session, quoting a scripture: “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

There is a deep meaning behind this simple sentence, Elder Bednar said.

“Thus, ‘be still’ may be a way of reminding us to focus upon the Savior unfailingly as the ultimate source of the spiritual stillness of the soul that strengthens us to do and overcome hard things,” he said.

Elder Massimo De Feo of the Seventy followed, telling us we cannot blame who we are on our circumstances, and say we cannot change. When we think this way, we decide to be acted upon and keep the beggar’s coat. There is a way to go past this, though, according to Elder De Feo.

“Acting in faith means to rely on our Savior, believing that through His Atonement, we can rise above everything, at His command,” Elder De Feo said.

Elder David A. Bednar spoke during the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. He talked about the importance of spiritual stillness and reliance on the Savior. (Isaac Rascon)

Gerardo Cilia was also happy their son inspired them to come to conference.

“Every location is different, but at this location, I can feel the spirit so strong and the desire to be a better person,” he said.

Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy said he was reminded through his calling the Church is global.

“Our wonderful missionaries who now cover the globe are 71,000 strong. Working together with members, they baptize over 20,000 people every month,” Elder Nielson said.

He could not believe how much the Church was growing when he visited the Philippines.

“I am a witness of God’s work across the world,” he said.

He continued by saying for the third time: “There has never been a better time to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than today.”

Given the global reach of the Church, attendees traveled far and wide, including out-of-state and even out-of-country journeys to get to the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Diana Mireles Betts and her husband drove their family from Tijuana, Mexico, to come watch Conference.

Diana Mireles, with her family, drove from Tijuana, Mexico, to get here. The Mireles family was one of many families traveling from out of the country to listen to talks from the prophet and apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Isaac Rascon)

“We drove, what, fourteen hours? So that we could get here,” Mireles said.

This being their first time attending conference in person, it was a very special experience for them, she said.

“For three or four years we’ve wanted to come to General Conference. The pandemic happened— we couldn’t come— then our visa expired and we couldn’t come. It was always our desire to have the experience of being here, and now it happened,” Mireles said.

It was very much worth it for them according to Mireles’s daughter. Mireles had two very specific questions, both of which were answered in the morning session.

“I left very strengthened. I’m happy to be here,” she said.

While he was unable to attend the Saturday morning session, 99-year-old President Russell M. Nelson attended the afternoon session. President Nelson, accompanied by his wife, Wendy Nelson, smiled and waved at participants. (Isaac Rascon)

Each talk focused on Jesus Christ. Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke of having hope in our moments of trial.

“‘All things for your good.’ A remarkable promise! Comforting assurance from God Himself!” Elder Gong said.

Brother Michael T. Nelson of the Young Men General Presidency invited leaders to build relationships with the youth and vice versa. He said the Church leaders are amazed by the courage, faith, and abilities of the youth.

The concluding speaker was Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve. He invited all to “Be one with Christ.”

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