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SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is implementing new features for watching its October 2021 general conference this weekend, on Oct. 2–3. The purpose of these innovations is to make viewing and participating in the conference more accessible, especially during the continued attendance limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Streaming general Saturday evening sessions
The church's First Presidency announced in June that Saturday evening sessions of general conference, originally alternating between sessions for men and for women, would be discontinued. However, in July, church leaders reinstated the sessions as general sessions open to all, without a specific audience or theme. The First Presidency said the general sessions will allow "for more gospel topics to be taught and permit more general leaders to address the conference."
New YouTube channel
The October 2021 general conference will be the first time the church will move all live streaming to a new YouTube channel specifically dedicated to general conference. Over 50 years of general conference videos will be housed on the channel, which can be found simply by searching for "general conference" on YouTube.
Conference highlight videos
The church has created short videos featuring the highlights of past general conference talks given by the church's First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with music and images of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints. Twenty of these videos are now available on the "General Conference Segments" playlist located on the new general conference YouTube channel.
"We hope these powerful short video segments of conference talks by the First Presidency and members of the Twelve on the general conference YouTube channel will be enjoyed and shared," said Elder Randy D. Funk, a General Authority Seventy for the Church of Jesus Christ, who advises on church publishing efforts.
"They serve as a helpful reminder of the teachings of the First Presidency and the Twelve, which may inspire us to study their full messages or simply prompt us to share them with a friend."
The Gospel Library app has a note-taking feature which is not new but allows for users to digitally record questions and impressions before and during conference sessions. The app has already launched the note-taking portion for the October 2021 general conference, so users can write down any questions or notes before the conference starts, which will then be searchable and accessible during the live sessions
"Many Latter-day Saints are used to writing their questions, answers and impressions in a conference journal or notebook," said Rob Jex, the product manager of the Gospel Library app. "We are simply providing Gospel Library users with a similar digital experience, so they can easily access their inspiration from their phones for years to come."
The conference's sessions will be held at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. KSL.com will publish summaries of each of the talks from church leaders.