Ken Lun is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Significant changes are underway at the LDS General Conference.

The LDS Church has recently made changes to the schedule of their biannual general conferences . As per the newly introduced schedule, the general women’s session will no longer happen the weekend before the general conference. Instead, it will take place every year in October, while the all-male general priesthood session will take place every year in April. Each of these sessions is scheduled for the Saturday of the weekend the general conference is supposed to take place in.

This means that the priesthood and women’s general sessions will be held just once a year and not twice as was the previous schedule, which reduces the number of sessions at the Utah-based church’s general conferences from six to five.

Considering the fact that Mormons also believe in a Heavenly Mother apart from a Heavenly Father, this move reflects their belief, as it further equalizes both the women’s and men’s gatherings. This is a major change as the general women’s session will now have its own spotlight instead of sharing it with the priesthood gathering.

This is also the first time The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made changes to its schedule for the past 23 years. Since 1994, the biannual conference schedule of the church has always been fixed at six general meetings spread across two weekends every spring and fall.

The church has released a statement mentioning the motive behind the change is an attempt at “reducing and simplifying the work of the Church and the demands made upon leaders and members.”

Members of the church welcomed this alteration with open arms. A St. Louis Ward’s primary president, Rosalynde Welch, shares her views on the introduction of the change, saying that she is happy that the change has been made and that it is a really great idea. “I'm one who prizes time with my family, and this will make it easier to balance family and meetings. I'm also glad to see that the women's session remains on par with the priesthood meeting and continues to be part of the new schedule,” she says.

Kathryn Skaggs, the founder of Mormon Women Stand, a popular Facebook group that has 52,000 members, also believes that this move by the church will put the women’s general session in a more elevated position. 

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