In the early days of the church it was a time of reunion and inspiration, when as many church members as possible would gather to conduct church business, share experiences and receive counsel and instruction from their leaders. As recently as 1960, with church membership at about 1.7 million and all of the stakes of the church English-speaking, general conference was still focused on gathering leaders and members for training and encouragement at church headquarters.
For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, general conference has always been about gathering.
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