Sunday, August 21, 2016
The evolution of Stake Conferences
MY recollection of stake conferences in the LDS Church date back to the late 1950s -- and there have been many key changes over the decades.
In my early memories, there were several general sessions of stake conference on Sunday itself. Being young then, "cry rooms" were where I spend some of the those meetings. In the Ogden, Ut. tabernacle, the cry room was in the northwest corner. It was a separate room with a big glass window.
By the 1980s, primary children had their own separate meeting during the general session of stake conference. Hence, the general session was very quiet and almost completed devoid of young children.
(I kind of miss that element at times. For example, during an Aug. 21, 2016 stake conference general session in my stake, the door behind me might as well have been a revolving door as it kept opening and thudding closed dozens and dozens of times during the two-hour meeting ...)
By the start of 21st Century, there were not any more separate stake conference sessions for primary children and all were in one single meeting.
Since the 1980s, starting times for general session stake conferences were 10 a.m. on Sunday. However, my August 2016 general session was 11 a.m. -- because a leadership meeting was moved from Saturday 4-6 p.m., to Sunday 8-10 a.m. instead.
Also, since the late 1990s, electronic transmissions have bolstered stake conference reception, first with video screens at the far back of the cultural hall, when all the stake was meeting in a single building.
With many more wards in my stake in the 21st Century, broadcasts of stake conference were made to the two other buildings in the stake. Hence, it was like watching a transmission of general conference sessions.