Reporter tells of decades on the general conference beat

I don't recall when I started covering conference twice a year. Sometime between June 20, 1951, when I was hired by the Deseret News as a copy girl (read that "errand runner") and this weekend, I got the semiannual assignment and I've missed very few conferences since. Inevitably, there will come a last conference I'll attend as a reporter. But I hope it isn't this one.

Over the years, memories have become mooshed up in my mind. I'd be hard-pressed to say which memory belongs with what year, but some of the general impressions are consistently roused with each annual or semiannual gathering of the Saints.

Some things have changed. I remember writing once years ago that the annual gathering made Salt Lake City temporarily "the white shirt and tie capital of the world." This week, I can't help noticing how much of the world is bringing its white shirts and ties to Temple Square and environs. I revel in walking through the square and trying to guess where all these people come from. Many countries, no doubt, a living commentary on the improvements in transportation that carry us thither and yon and to conference and on the rapid rise in church membership.

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