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LDS leaders shift gears, revive Saturday evening sessions of General Conference

Decision comes a month after the Utah-based church announced the end of the 6 p.m. gatherings.

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The governing First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Dallin H. Oaks, left, Russell M. Nelson, center and Henry B. Eyring — at General Conference on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. The members of the First Presidency announced Tuesday, July 27, 2021, that the Saturday evening session will go on at October's conference, after announcing in June that it would not happen.

Saturday evening sessions of General Conference are back on — a month after leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced they were dispensing with the traditional 6 p.m. gathering.

The revived Saturday evening sessions will be open to “all members and friends of the church,” the faith’s governing First Presidency wrote in a letter released Tuesday. The session will be part of the Oct. 2-3 all-virtual General Conference emanating from the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

Previously, the Saturday evening sessions had been divided by gender, with the October meeting geared toward women and the April gathering directed at male priesthood holders.

That no longer will be the case.

“It will not have a specific theme, nor will it be intended for any particular demographic or leadership group,” church President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring, wrote. “Holding this session will allow for more gospel topics to be taught and permit more general leaders to address the conference.”

General sessions will run, as always, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mountain time both Saturday and Sunday of conference weekend — and, now, on Saturday at 6 p.m.

In June, church leaders announced it would abandon the Saturday evening sessions. That decision, the leaders wrote Tuesday, “was based on changes in technology that make it possible for all members and friends to view each session of General Conference.”

They said that “after additional study and prayer, we have felt impressed to continue to hold the Saturday evening session.”

“We recognize the increasing challenges facing members of the church worldwide in our day,” the leaders stated. “An important way to fortify against these challenges comes through hearing the word of God.”

And now there will be more words imparted from the pulpit.

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