Beginning April 2018,the general women’s session of LDS general conference will no longer be held on the Saturday preceding the other sessions of general conference, but on Saturday evening of the same weekend. To accommodate this, the general priesthood and general women’s sessions will each be held annually, with the general priesthood session being in April and the general women’s session being in October.
This was announced in a letter from the First Presidency sent to stake and ward leaders today. The letter states, “In the spirit of reducing and simplifying the work of the Church and the demands made upon leaders and members, we are pleased to announce that the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve has decided to modify the general conference meeting schedule.” This brings the women’s session and the priesthood session into parity and reduces the number of sessions each conference from 6 sessions to 5.
In 2018, the sessions of LDS general conference will be as follows:
April 2018 General Conference
|Saturday, March 31, 2018
||Sunday, April 1, 2018
October 2018 General Conference
|Saturday, October 6, 2017
||Sunday, October 7, 2017
According to the letter, consolidating general conference sessions into one weekend furthers Church efforts “of reducing and simplifying the work of the Church and the demands made upon leaders and members.
Since 1977, general conference has been a two-day, weekend event, with two general sessions each day and a priesthood meeting Saturday evening.
In 1986, the Church added an Annual general Relief Society meeting the Saturday before general conference. 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.
From November 2013 until now, the semiannual general women’s session became an official part of general conference, replacing both the general Relief Society and general Young Women meetings. On March 29, 2014, girls 8 years and older were invited to the women’s meeting, along with young women and women.