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Mormon conference to be crowd-less again due to pandemic

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 6/4/2020 By BRADY McCOMBS, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Thursday it will hold its twice-yearly signature conference in October without in-person audience as it did in April because of lingering concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The conferences usually bring some 100,000 people to the church conference center in Salt Lake City to attend five sessions over two days. Instead, church leaders will be inside a small auditorium with only a few other people Oct. 3-4 as the speeches are broadcast live online around the world.

“As a worldwide organization, we have an obligation to be good citizens and to act with caution as it relates to such a unique setting as general conference, which traditionally brings thousands of visitors to Salt Lake City from around the globe,” the churches top leaders said in a letter to members.

The virtual conference in April was the first without people in attendance since World War II, when wartime travel restrictions were in place.

Leaders from the Utah-based faith that counts 16 million members worldwide utilize the conference to provide spiritual guidance, underscore the religion’s key beliefs and, sometimes, announce new initiatives or rules.

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