Church makes additional use of satellite system
Deseret News, Jan. 4, 2003
By Lynn Arave, Deseret News staff writer
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to make the most of satellite communication to reach its members. After more than 21 years of establishing a network of satellite dishes at stake centers — primarily to broadcast General Conferences and temple dedications — the church is taking another major step now in using the technology to transmit periodic global priesthood leadership training sessions.
The First Presidency has announced that its first-ever such broadcast will be Saturday, Jan. 11, from 1-4 p.m. (MST), from the auditorium of the LDS Church Office Building.
Priesthood leaders — stake presidencies, high councilors, bishoprics and ward priesthood quorum and group leaders — will receive training directly from the First Presidency and members of the Quorum of the Twelve during the three-hour meeting.
The public and news media are not invited to the private broadcast.
The broadcast is also likely to be scrambled and thus will probably not be publicly available to non-authorized satellite receivers. The LDS Church began scrambling its transmissions of General Priesthood meeting in April of 2002.
Topics to be addressed at the Jan. 11 meeting will include the importance of family and temples, as well as the church’s organization.
A second global priesthood leadership broadcast is planned for Saturday, June 21.
The church plans to videotape the meeting and make copies available to priesthood leaders unable to attend the satellite broadcast.
The First Presidency said the global meetings are a response to surging church growth worldwide and represent another major communication landmark.
General Authorities are stretched more than ever to make personal visits to local congregations in a church that now numbers more than 11 million members worldwide.
“The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve will continue to travel to units throughout the world,” a press release from the church states. “Such interaction is considered essential for the leadership to stay in touch with members.”
The Priesthood Session of General Conference is carried on satellite TV to approximately 3,000 stake centers and other church buildings throughout the world. A similar number of receivers will likely be in use on Jan. 11.
Language translation will be a complex aspect of the Jan. 11 broadcast.
The first transmission of General Priesthood meeting outside Temple Square took place in April of 1951 when direct telephone carried it exclusively to various stake centers.