Those planning to attend the Church's 188th Semiannual General Conference should take note of significant new changes to security procedures — including an early closing of the Conference Center, temporary closings of a part of North Temple Street and limitations on personal belongings brought into the building.
"We want people to be aware so they are not delayed or inconvenienced. We want them to plan ahead," said David Miles, director of events and support services. "Whether they're driving or walking, what they bring and what hopefully they don't bring, our message is we want this to be a smooth, enjoyable experience from the time they leave their home to getting here, parking, enjoying the meetings and then getting back home."
The new security measures for conference, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, include:
- The Conference Center will be closed to the public starting the Monday prior to general conference weekend.
- North Temple will be temporarily closed between West Temple and Main Street two hours before and immediately after each session, allowing pedestrians to cross the street in cross walks and other designated locations within the restricted area. North Temple will reopen each day about two hours after general conference sessions end. New security barriers will be placed at each intersection to ensure the safety of conferencegoers.
- Any personal items such as large purses, backpacks, shopping bags, suitcases and food items will no longer be stored on Church property during the conference or any future event. Also, no weapons will be allowed in the building.
- Only clear plastic water bottles (no metal bottles) along with small handbags and umbrellas will be allowed.
- People are requested to be in their seats 30 minutes before the start of each event.
These new security procedures, spurred by current world events, are modeled after successful safety policies at stadiums and arenas, Miles said.
"People don't usually come to a Church meeting in the mindset of attending a large arena or stadium event," Miles said. "We need to help them change that mindset so they are aware of important security issues. We want to keep everyone safe."