Memorable Conference Moments

by | Mar. 01, 2011

LDS Life

October 4, 1856 - Brigham Young calls for volunteers to rescue the Willey and Martin handcart companies at Martin’s Cove. Dozens of wagon teams laden with supplies set out for Wyoming.

April 6, 1877 - Conference is held in St. George for the only time; leaders dedicate the newly completed St. George Temple.

October 1890 - Members vote to approve the Manifesto, ending the church’s endorsement of polygamy.

April 6, 1893 – After 40 years of construction, the Salt Lake Temple is dedicated.

April 1919 - A worldwide influenza epidemic postpones conference.

October 3, 1924 – Conference is broadcast on the radio for the first time.

April 1932 - Elder Stephen L. Richards gives a controversial speech on the Word of Wisdom that is reportedly the only conference address in history that wasn’t published. (It was published much later in an issue of Sunstone.)

1942–1945 – World War II rationing closes General Conference to everyone except LDS general authorities and stake presidents.

October 1949 – Conference was broadcast on television for the first time.

April 6, 1959 - President David O. McKay coins the phrase “every member a missionary.”

April 3, 1976 - Members vote to canonize Joseph Smith’s “Vision of the Celestial Kingdom” and Joseph F. Smith’s “Vision of the Redemption of the Dead” as the 137th and the 138th sections of the Doctrine and Covenants.

September 30, 1978 - Members vote unanimously in favor of the revelation to extend the priesthood to all worthy men, regardless of skin color.

April 1985 - Elder Bruce R. McConkie gives his final speech, “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane.” He died of cancer a matter of days afterward. The original poem cited in the speech was later converted into the hymn, “I Believe in Christ.”

April 1988 - President Howard W. Hunter falls backwards while speaking. He was lifted back up by apostles Thomas S. Monson and Boyd K. Packer and a church security guard. Hunter continued his sermon despite sustaining three broken ribs.

April 1989 – President Ezra Taft Benson gives his famous “Beware of Pride” talk.

April 1996 – President Hinckley announces construction of what would become the Conference Center.

April 1999 – President Hinckley announces that the Nauvoo Temple will be rebuilt.

October 2007 – President Hinckley “knights” Henry B. Eyring with his cane as he appoints the Apostle to Second Counselor in the First Presidency.

April 2008 – President Monson wiggles his ears to illustrate a story in his priesthood session talk; the act becomes an overnight internet sensation.

October 2010 – President Packer draws international attention for comments relating to same-gender attraction. 

April 2011 – A visiting member from Australia flashes a memorable smile to the cameras as the last session closes, creating a clip that would go viral on YouTube.

October 2012 – President Thomas S. Monson announces that young men can now serve missions at age 18 and young women at age 19, effective immediately.

What conference moment is most memorable for you?

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