Session change to April 2020 general conference announced by the First Presidency

The First Presidency has announced a session change to the upcoming April 2020 general conference, with the Saturday evening session available for all members of the Church ages 11 and up.

In a letter dated Nov. 22, the First Presidency said, “Rather than having the priesthood session or the general women’s session, the Saturday evening session will be held for all members of the Young Women and Relief Society and all holders of the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood.

“We look forward to commemorating with members of the Church the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ at this historic conference and throughout the year 2020.”

President Russell M. Nelson said during the October general conference that the April 2020 general conference “will be different from any previous general conference” as Latter-day Saints commemorate 200 years since Joseph Smith’s First Vision.

“In the next six months, I hope that every member and every family will prepare for a unique conference that will commemorate the very foundations of the restored gospel,” he said.

President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church, speaks during the Sunday morning session in the 189th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 6, 2019.
President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church, speaks during the Sunday morning session in the 189th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 6, 2019. Credit: Screenshot

In October 2017, the First Presidency announced that the general priesthood session and the general women’s sessions would be held annually and alternatively. Since then, the priesthood session for all priesthood holders 12 and older has been held in April and the general women’s session for all women ages 8 and up has been held in October.

“We are confident this change will be a blessing in the lives of members throughout the Church,” the October 2017 First Presidency letter stated.

General conference has been established as a two-day, weekend event since 1977, with two general sessions each day and a priesthood meeting Saturday evening. In 1986, annual general Relief Society meetings were added and held the Saturday before general conference, according to a Church News article.

Annual Young Women general meetings began in 1994 and were held the week before April general conference. The Relief Society meetings were held the week before October general conference.

Then, in November 2013, the First Presidency announced that a semiannual women’s session — now part of general conference — would replace both the general Relief Society and general Young Women meetings. The first women’s session for women, young women and girls ages 8 and older was held on March 29, 2014.