Truly 'unforgettable': 12 ways April 2020 general conference was historic

by | Sep. 29, 2020

Editor's note: This story was originally published by LDS Living in April 2020 and is being shared again in anticipation of October 2020 general conference. Here's how you can watch

At the close of the October 2019 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson promised, "general conference next April will be different from any previous conference." 

"Little did I know, when I promised you at the October 2019 general conference that this April conference would be 'memorable and unforgettable,' that speaking to a visible congregation of fewer than 10 people would make this conference so memorable and unforgettable for me!," President Nelson said in his Saturday morning remarks. He continued, "We pray that this conference will be memorable and unforgettable because of the messages you will hear, the unique announcements which will be made, and the experiences in which you will be invited to participate."

Here are 12 of the ways the April 2020 general conference will be remembered by all of us for years to come. Click each link for more information about each announcement. 

1. New Location and Limited Attendance

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, general conference was broadcast from a small auditorium on Temple Square. Attendance was limited to the First Presidency and those assigned to give talks and prayers for each session. Read that announcement here

2. A Solemn Assembly and a Hosanna Shout

During the Saturday morning session, President Nelson announced the Sunday morning session would include a solemn assembly and a Hosanna Shout. Learn more about solemn assemblies and the Hosanna Shout here

3. New Young Men General Presidency and Other General Authorities Called

As part of the Saturday afternoon session, President Dallin H. Oaks announced a new Young Men General Presidency, nine General Authority Seventies and 58 Area Seventies. The list includes brethren from 22 different countries. Find the list here

4. Membership Growth Reported in Statistical Report

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statistical report online during the Saturday afternoon session of April 2020 general conference. The report announced seven dedicated temples during 2019 and growth in worldwide Church membership. For more on the Church report including number of missions, stakes, full-time missionaries, service missionaries, and more, click here.

5. Teenage Speakers

In the Saturday evening session of general conference, Laudy R. Kaouk and Enzo S. Petelo each shared thoughts on how priesthood blesses youth. Typically, general conference features speakers chosen from the General Authorities and General Officers of the Church. However, this is not the first time teenagers have spoken in general conference. Learn more here

6. New Church Symbol

During his Saturday evening remarks, President Nelson unveiled a new Church symbol. The symbol includes the name of the Church within a cornerstone and a representation of Thorvaldsen’s marble statue, the Christus, under an arch. Find out more about the meaning of the new symbol here

7. Second Worldwide Fast

President Nelson invited the world to fast again for the COVID-19 pandemic during his Saturday evening remarks. The fast will take place on Good Friday, April 10. Learn more here.

8. An Address by Each Female General President

Presidents Jean B. Bingham, Bonnie H. Cordon, and Joy D. Jones each spoke in the April 2020 general conference. Find summaries of their remarks at Church News

9. 18 Temple Groundbreakings in 2020

In his remarks, Elder David A. Bednar said there would be 18 temple groundbreakings in 2020. He also discussed the growth of temples in the lifetime of President Nelson.

10. "The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" Proclamation Introduced

President Nelson introduced a new proclamation, "The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World."  The full text of the proclamation can be read here.

11. 8 Temples Announced

At the conclusion of the final session of general conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced eight new temples in the following locations: Bahía Blanca, Argentina; Tallahassee, Florida; Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Benin City, Nigeria; Syracuse, Utah; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Read more here.

12. A Worldwide Choir

Earlier this year, the Church announced that applications were open for a multicultural choir for this general conference. While COVID-19 may have disrupted the original plan, it did not stop a multicultural choir from being formed. At the conclusion of conference, clips of Latter-day Saints from all over the world were shown singing, "We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet."

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Lead image: Courtesy of Church Newsroom

Image titleThe General Conference Addresses Journal Edition has all the text of the general conference addresses in one spiral-bound paperback. Extra-wide, lined margins give you space to record your impressions and document insights you receive. Order the April 2020 edition now or preorder the October 2020 edition so you can create an enduring record to make general conference truly unforgettable.


Lindsey Williams

Lindsey Williams joined the LDS Living team with a passion to find the stories that matter most. Previous stops in her career include BYU-Pathway Worldwide, the Special Projects Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Utah Valley Magazine. When she's not searching for stories to write, the Colorado Springs native is most likely on a hiking trail. Follow her on Twitter with the handle @lindsey5brooke.

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