Residents who attend local LDS congregations will have the opportunity this weekend to meet in a single, unified Sunday service — albeit most of them by satellite broadcast.
All nine of Tooele County’s stakes — large bodies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints that each represent several wards, the smaller congregations church members attend on a regular basis — will participate in a regional conference this Sunday instead of attending their regular weekly worship services.
Though some stakes, including the Stansbury Park Utah Stake and the Grantsville Utah Stake, have been invited to attend the meeting in person at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, most will attend the conference via a satellite broadcast that will be available at all local stake centers.
LDS Church Spokesman Cody Craynor said the regional conference would include a total of 68 stakes from Salt Lake City, Tooele, and some of the surrounding areas. He said most stakes participate in one of these regional conferences about once every other year.
While no official line-up of speakers has been released, Kenneth Child, president of the Stansbury Park Utah Stake, said he had heard that Elder Dallin Oaks, a former justice of the Utah Supreme Court, will lead and possibly speak at the meeting. Oaks is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the highest governing bodies within the LDS church.
Most addresses during the special meeting will likely focus on topics such as importance of temple worship to LDS congregants and on the church’s worldwide missionary effort, said Todd Thompson, president of the Tooele Utah Stake.
While Thompson said there was no official word on Sunday’s topic, he said stake leaders have been asked to focus on the theme of “hastening the work” during meetings to be held this Saturday in anticipation of Sunday’s regional conference.
In addition to the Sunday conference, which all Tooele County stakes will attend either in person or via broadcasts to their local stake center, each local stake will also host a stake conference on Saturday, Thompson said.
The exact schedule of meetings will vary by stake, he said, but will follow a pattern similar to the set of meetings planned for members of the Tooele Utah Stake. The Tooele Utah Stake has planned a Saturday afternoon meeting for all of the stake’s priesthood holders, and a second meeting for all adult members — ages 12 and up — on Saturday evening.
These meetings will be hosted by members who live within the stake’s boundaries, and speakers and musical performers will be drawn from the stake’s membership as well.
Sunday’s meeting is open to residents of all ages and will feature speakers from the LDS church’s general and regional leadership. The meeting is set to begin at 10 a.m. and is expected to last about two hours. Local LDS congregations will not hold regular worship services this Sunday in light of the conference.