Mor­mons al­ter gen­eral con­fer­ences

The Arizona Republic - - Arizona And The Southwest -

SALT LAKE CITY - The Salt Lake City-based Mor­mon church will be chang­ing the way it holds fu­ture gen­eral con­fer­ences.

The changes an­nounced Fri­day by The Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints call for hold­ing the gen­eral priest­hood and the gen­eral women’s ses­sions only once a year, with the all-male priest­hood ses­sion be­ing in April and the women’s ses­sion be­ing in Oc­to­ber.

The changes will take ef­fect in April 2018.

The church says in a let­ter to lo­cal church lead­ers that short­en­ing the gen­eral con­fer­ence ses­sions will help sim­plify work of the church and re­duce de­mands made upon its lead­ers and mem­bers.

“We are con­fi­dent this change will be a bless­ing in the lives of mem­bers through­out the church,” the First Pres­i­dency said in the let­ter to be read Sun­day in the wor­ship ser­vices of the faith’s 30,000 con­gre­ga­tions.

Kathryn Sk­aggs, founder of the Mor­mon Women Stand, a Face­book group with 52,000 mem­bers, said she ex­pects the change “will el­e­vate the women’s ses­sion in the minds of ev­ery­one in the church. “

Some Mor­mon are ques­tion­ing whether the change will have any ef­fect on the num­ber of women who speak dur­ing the con­fer­ence ses­sions.

Salt Lake City’s Naomi Watkins, co­founder of As­pir­ing Mor­mon Women, a Face­book fo­rum, thinks the change will make the women’s ses­sion more equiv­a­lent to the priest­hood ses­sion.

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