SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held its 181st Semi-annual General Conference on Saturday and Sunday, with people from countries across the world traveling to attend this meeting inside the LDS Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

General Conference is held the first weekend every April and October, with two sessions on Saturday and two sessions on Sunday for two hours per session.

It unites people from all around the world through the addresses from the leadership members of the church.

Luciane Kraft, an interior designer for Abra in Sao Paulo, Brazil, spent this last year saving up for a flight with her family from Brazil to Utah. It is a dedicated effort to earn enough funds to pay for the trip, but it is always worth it, says Kraft.

This was Kraft’s third time making this conference trip, and she plans to take it again.

“Oh, I feel so special because everybody there feel(s) the Spirit, and (it) is something really important to us,” said Kraft.

Kraft and her family walked on the sidewalk around Temple Square holding signs asking for tickets Sunday morning, with many people beside them asking for tickets as well. The Kraft family received tickets from passers-by to attend the first session of conference on Sunday.

Bettina Schneider traveled from her hometown in Frankfurt, Germany, to Utah and arrived in Utah a few days before conference. This was her second time visiting the U.S., and her first time attending General Conference.

“Yesterday it was so good,” said Schneider. “I had so many feelings and it’s just wonderful. Yesterday I just cried and felt like ‘Whoa, it’s so amazing to be here.’”

Schneider came to the U.S. so she could attend conference with her hometown friend, Sonja Sperling, visit a friend in Chicago for a few days, and then return to Frankfurt to manage her preschool class. Schneider and Sperling attended all four sessions of conference.

Sperling moved to Utah from Frankfurt a year ago, and is earning her master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of Utah. Attending conference in person has been a priority of Sperling’s, and before moving to Utah she traveled from Germany to Utah for conference three times.

“It’s the two coolest weekends in the year,” said Sperling. “I might as well sit at home in my pajamas and look at it, that would be good too, but it’s so special to be close to the apostles and prophet, to see all of the people from all over the world come and sing together. There is a lot of strength in numbers.”

After Sperling graduates from the University of Utah, she hopes to keep making an effort to attend General Conference if she moves back to Frankfurt.


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