In New Zealand, most members view the General Conference videos one week later than the sessions take place, as Stake and District Centres record each via satellite in real time, then screen them the following weekend.
Most years, our District has viewed the sessions at the same times announced over the pulpit in Salt Lake – 10:00am for the morning, 1:00pm for the afternoon sessions etc. This last weekend, things were a little different. For reasons unbeknownst to me, all of our sessions screened during the evening; Saturday’s sessions aired at 1:00pm (Priesthood), 4:00pm (the morning session), and 7:00pm (the afternoon session). Sunday’s time-slots were 2:00pm and 5:00pm.
My husband missed the old schedule. But judging by weekend’s attendance, the general membership preferred the evening session times. How would you feel about attending the general conference sessions at night?
I say the members “appeared to like the evening session times,” but this statement isn’t based on a great turn-out, but rather a fair turn-out, relative to previous conferences. Which brings me to my next question; is there a trend elsewhere for more and more members to opt for viewing the sessions online at home? Because every year here, I’ve noted numbers dwindling – with many members explaining their absence as, “We just find it so much easier to watch the sessions at home – what with the kids / the comfortable couch / the ability to pause.”
Like many, many, other things, I think this choice is between the individual and the Lord…but for discussion’s sake – what part of the “conference experience” is most important to you? Being part of a congregation, participating in the sustaining, songs and prayers, and being in a hallowed place to do so…or controlling your environment and timing to optimise opportunities for your children to feel the Spirit? Viewing the conference and feeling positive about it (wherever you may be), or bums on pews? What matters most to you?
Angela waved fare-thee-well to her previous playgrounds (the classroom, office and art gallery) in favour of drinking in every delicious moment of motherhood on offer. Now she juggles that privilege with her nesting instincts, design contracts, sales work, her churchy responsibilities, pregnancy cravings, and the need to straighten things – all with her cherub (Esky) in tow. You can read more from a Mormon Mum in New Zealand over at Angela Noelle's blog, Striking Keys.
Lead image from LDSMediaTalk