In an effort to reduce and simplify “the work of the Church and the demands made upon leaders and members,” the First Presidency announced Oct. 27 a modification to the general conference meeting schedule.
Beginning April 2018, both the general priesthood and general women’s sessions of general conference will be held annually, with the priesthood session being held in April and the women’s session being held in October. The meetings will follow the morning and afternoon sessions of conference on Saturday evening.
“We are confident this change will be a blessing in the lives of members throughout the Church,” the First Presidency letter states.
Since 1977, general conference has been established as a two-day, weekend event, with two general sessions each day and a priesthood meeting Saturday evening. Annual general Relief Society meetings, held the Saturday before general conference, were added in 1986. Then in 1994, annual Young Women meetings were similarly held. The Young Women general meetings occurred the week before April general conference and the Relief Society meetings were held the week before October general conference for nearly two decades.
In November 2013, the First Presidency announced that a semiannual general women’s session — now part of general conference — would replace both the general Relief Society and general Young Women meetings. On March 29, 2014, women, young women and girls 8-years and older filled the Conference Center in Salt Lake City to hear the words of Church leaders during the first-ever general women’s session.
The First Presidency letter also states that the times of the other general conference sessions will not change.