The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that the priesthood session of General Conference will be streamed live through the Internet for the first time on October 5, according to a pre-conference press release.
“As part of a continued effort to make general conference proceedings more accessible to members around the globe, the priesthood session will be shown live for the first time through expanded channels, including LDS.org, the Mormon Channel and BYUtv,” according to the news release.
Prior to the announcement, conference attendees could watch the priesthood session either by attending live broadcasts at local church meetinghouses or by watching recordings after the conference. Now they may watch the conference live on any computer connected to the Internet.
David Peck, a religion teacher, said he was pleased with the announcement.
“I think it’s exciting,” Peck said. “I’m sure [church leaders] thought long and hard about it and have a great reason for doing it.”
Peck said the change would make the session more accessible to people who otherwise would have had difficulty going to the session.
“Anything the church can do to get the message out and make it more accessible is a great move,” Peck said. “Hopefully it makes it more accessible to the masses and hopefully it’ll bless more people’s lives as the word gets out. I love how the church is willing to try new things and I’m sure good things will come from it.”
Steven Lloyd, a junior studying exercise physiology, said he wondered why priesthood sessions were not streamed live before.
“[The text of the priesthood session] is in the [Ensign], so it comes out anyway,” Lloyd said. “I think it will be beneficial for anybody who can’t read that, so I’m okay with it.”
Jared Brown, a sophomore studying business management, said the announcement was unlikely to change his attendance.
“I’ll probably still go to a church building since we’re so close to one,” Brown said. “I feel like I get a little more distracted at home as far as the priesthood session goes. I watch the general sessions at home, but I’ll probably still go to a building [for the priesthood session].”
Priesthood sessions have been conducted in the same format for more than 70 years, according to the Deseret News. The first televised broadcast of General Conference occurred 64 years ago, according to an article in the Ensign.