SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - This weekend, tens of thousands of people will head to downtown Salt Lake City for the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It’s a time of year LDS Church members look forward to, a chance to hear from church leaders.
There aren’t any big announcements expected, historically messages center on basic gospel principles, but members say they hope leaders address timely issues like the presidential election and recent terror attacks.
“Our country is undergoing some tremendous political change right now, and it’s important for them to encourage membership of the church to continue to be involved in the political process,” said LDS member Dan Bradford.
Members have learned to expect the unexpected. In 2012, leaders announced lowering the minimum age for missionary service. In 2014, there was an emphasis on love and acceptance.
“They pray a long time about what talks they’re going to give, so they don’t just lightly say we’re going to emphasize this,” said LDS member Eileen Bradford. “Six months ago it was the Sabbath day. It will be interesting to see what they emphasize this time.”
Over 20,000 people will fill the conference center every session over the two-day conference. Salt Lake City police say with that many people headed downtown, they hope some of the message focuses on kindness, and courtesy.
“Often times people driving downtown will get stressed out in the crowds, the pedestrians, that type of thing,” said Salt Lake City Det. Dennis McGowan. “So we’re just asking people to be patient, and courteous with one another.”
McGowan said extra officers will be on site directing traffic, and also enforcing parking. People parked improperly will be ticketed or towed.
“We just want to educate the public,” McGowan said. “Educate to the community get them to park in the proper places, so that it works out for everybody, including people with private property.”
Salt Lake City PD also provided an image detailing the traffic flow for the area, including areas where pedestrians should plan to cross. See below for that image.
UTA is also running extra long trains and additional service to try to accommodate everyone getting downtown. For a full schedule, click here.