Featuring General Relief Society, Young Women and Primary presidents
The General Relief Society, Young Women and Primary presidents as well as Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be featured speakers at the annual Women's Conference, Thursday and Friday, April 29 and 30, at Brigham Young University.
Thursday's opening session will feature BYU Women's Conference Committee Chair Sandra Rogers, and the afternoon session will feature an address by BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson and his wife, Sharon.
Friday's morning session will be a panel discussion on "Keeping our Families Unspotted from the World" with General Primary President Coleen K. Menlove, General Relief Society President Bonnie D. Parkin and General Young Women President Susan W. Tanner, moderated by KTVX-TV news anchor Ruth Todd.
Elder Robert D. Hales will speak on the "Joy of Family Life" in the Thursday afternoon closing session at 3:45 p.m.
Admission to all events, including the service and entertainment venues, is by conference pass only. Participants will be able to choose from dozens of speakers and topics during the two-day event.
Free registration for BYU faculty, staff and students and their spouses is available. Registration for the conference may be completed at the Harman Building lobby between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Participants will receive a name badge and conference program upon registration. Name badges will only be issued in the name of the ID card holder.
Registration fees for non-BYU personnel are $45 for the full conference or $25 for one day. Through April 30 registrations will be accepted at the Harman Continuing Education Building on the BYU campus weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Conference programs will be sent only to those who register before April 9. Materials for those registering after April 16 will be held at will-call for pick up at the conference.
An attendance of 16,000 is expected at the event, which is limited to women and men age 16 and older; no infants or children will be permitted at any of the sessions.
The event will also include addresses by Donna Packer, wife of Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy Alexander B. Morrison; former General Relief Society President Mary Ellen W. Smoot; former General Young Women President Ardeth G. Kapp; first female editor of the LDS Church News Gerry Avant; Deseret Morning News columnist Ann Cannon; KUTV-TV news anchor Michelle King; senior policy advisor, U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee member Kay King; founder and executive producer of the Utah Shakespearean Festival Fred C. Adams; Stephen Jones, the new dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications; and Thelma Woolley Fetzer, a 94-year-old great-grandmother.
The theme of this year's conference, which will be conducted at sites throughout campus, is from the Old Testament, "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3).
"Conference sessions will address how we can find joy and strength through Christ and the plan of salvation," said Rogers, international vice president at BYU. "Like the Samaritan woman at the well, as we come to understand the living water Christ offers to us in our individual circumstances, we can feel the joy of true discipleship and rejoice in the sweetness and comfort of the Lord's love and spirit in our lives."
For those unable to attend the conference on-site, this year's event offers eight hours of satellite broadcasts running from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, and from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, on KBYU-TV (Channel 11) and BYU-Television on cable and satellite systems. The satellite broadcasts will be in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese and will be closed-captioned. Audio streaming of the broadcast sessions will also be available both nights on the Internet at http://broadcasting.byu.edu.
For the second time at the BYU Women's Conference, three concurrent sessions on Thursday will be offered in Spanish, with native speakers of Spanish as presenters. The two general sessions on Thursday will also be translated from English to Spanish with headsets available.
"The committee decided to continue having sessions in Spanish because of the large number of Spanish speakers in the country and in the Church," said presenter Fatima Vera de Flores. "Your spirit is lifted after the conference, so the sisters are very excited to hear the messages in their own language in another country. They are interested in the subjects and the things presented in the conference this year and the messages we need most. Sometimes, when you're from another country, you feel lonely, but this is like having someone thinking about your needs."
Thursday night will feature a grand celebration of service, "Make a Joyful Noise," where conference attendees will be invited to participate in a variety of service projects beginning at 5:30 p.m.
This year's Women's Conference participants have been asked to assemble 45,000 hygiene kits, 15,000 school kits, 5,000 newborn kits and tie 200 quilts for Church Humanitarian Services.
In addition, participants can visit the third annual Idea Fair where they can view more than 70 "Sharing Stations" to exchange practical and innovative service ideas to strengthen the family.
New this year will be interactive workshops demonstrating practical applications of conference session topics.
A series of performances will also be featured Thursday, including "Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl: Love and Death at the Opera" with featured guest artist mezzo soprano Ariel Bybee, and "In Him Was Life," a one-man dramatization by actor Bruce Newbold that tells the story of Jesus Christ.
Other events include a performance by the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble and a Deseret Book Artists Sampler concert with guests Cheri Call, George Dyer, Hilary Weeks, Katherine Nelson, Jericho Road and Providence.
Performances will be on a first-come, first-seated basis and no tickets will be required.
Also on Thursday night, a luau will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the parking lot west of the Richards Building on lower campus. Ticket price is $12 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance no later than Wednesday, April 14. Tickets are transferable to other registered participants. However, tickets are not refundable or replaceable.
Parking for the conference is available in the lots north and northeast of the Marriott Center; overflow parking will be in the lots west of LaVell Edwards Stadium. Self-contained recreational vehicles can park in lot 37 northwest of the Smith Fieldhouse. Disability parking is located directly north of the Marriott Center.
Courtesy vans will run between the residence halls, campus buildings and parking lots from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. While the vans are available to all conference participants, preference will be given to seniors and/or those with disabilities.
For more information, visit the Women's Conference Web site at http://womensconference.byu.edu.
Writer: Rachel M. Sego