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LDS General Conference Weekend: 7 Traditions and Annoying Aspects

Many listen and watch General Conference every first weekend of April and October. It has become a tradition ingrained in Utahans' DNA every six months. Some hate this weekend and others love it--or just in between.

1. Church in PJs

"Pam and Fry had a great Christmas" by miguelb www.flikr.com

For six months, we look forward to lounging around and yet going to church at the same time. We can get up during choir numbers and grab a snack. And we can doze off during slower talks. If only every church service was this relaxing.

2. Family & Missionary Reunions

"The Family" by Jon Luty www.publicdomainpictures.net

Everyone flocks to a tiny valley, so naturally we have to gather with long lost relatives and friends. The chapels, restaurants and homes around Salt Lake Valley are overrun with family and missionary reunions. Admit it, you know you want to compare your life with former mission companions!

3.  8-10 am, 12-2 pm & 4-6 pm Business Rush

"Shopping Carts" by Junior Libby www.publicdomainpictures.net

Grocery stores and restaurants call in employees for the before, between and after rushes on General Conference weekend (mostly Saturday; no one would break the Sabbath unless an ox is in the mire :). During sessions, the stores are practically empty. 

4. Good Luck Finding Parking in SLC


Tens of thousands flock to Conference Center taking up all the parking spots. Police hand out parking tickets left and right. Many drive around for a long time in search of free parking. No, we got to pay high prices or risk running the two hour parking limit. 

One time my aunt drove around Temple Square until the Priesthood session was over just to avoid paying for a parking space. She said it was cheaper to waste gas until we picked up the men.

5. Traffic Jam Between Sessions


I avoid SLC on this weekend, unless relatives force me to go there. The traffic is awful going in and out of parking spaces, around Temple Square and on the freeways. Forget it, I'm staying home or leaving the state!

6. Protesters


General Conference is not complete without protesters outside Temple Square. They are concerned about Mormons, and Mormons are concerned about them. In the end, we all follow the dictates of our own conscience.

7. No Kids Allowed

"Temple Square" by Tom Caswell www.flikr.com

Children under eight years old aren't allowed into the Conference sessions, but most Mormons have lots of kids. So who's babysitting those kids? In the past, it's always been me chasing my nephews across Temple Square.

Now I stay at home with my three boys and try to catch some of the Conference talks midst screaming and napping. Whatever.

What do you do over General Conference weekend?