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Two young sister missionaries on Temple Square stopped to talk with me this weekend, and the conversation quickly turned to how this weekend’s general conference felt much like Temple Square was opening up again.

  • The Angel Moroni statue returned Tuesday to the tallest spire of the Salt Lake Temple.
  • Nation flags went up the new flagpoles on Wednesday as part of the renovation of the Church Office Building plaza, which reopened in January.
  • The standby line for tickets to the Conference Center reopened Saturday for the first time since 2019. More than 1,000 people obtained tickets to conference through the standby line for each session. The Sunday afternoon session exceeded 1,600.
  • And conference attendance returned to levels not seen since the COVID-19 pandemic, even though an artificial limit of 18,000 people per session was instituted by Salt Lake City because parking has been reduced during the temple renovation. A combined total of 82,565 people attended the five sessions.

There were other signs of expansion, too.

  • President Russell M. Nelson announced 15 more temples, bringing the total number of dedicated and announced temples to 350.
  • The church issued a statistical report that said membership has surpassed 17.25 million.
  • Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy said that there are now 71,000 young proselyting missionaries, up from 67,000 at the end of 2023. They are baptizing 20,000 people a month.
  • Apostles from the Quorum of the Twelve conducted three sessions of the conference. Members of the First Presidency generally conduct conference sessions.

Amid the four new members of the Presidency of the Seventy was Elder Edward Dube, a convert who joined the church in Zimbabwe in 1984 at age 22. Now 61, he is the first Black man to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy, which is the third-highest ranking leadership body in the church after the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. There are seven presidents of the Seventy.

The presidency works under the direct supervision of the Quorum of the Twelve. Seven members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles previously served in the Presidency of the Seventy — Elders Quentin L. Cook, D. Todd Christofferson, Neil L. Andersen, Ronald A. Rasband, Gerrit W. Gong, Ulisses Soares and Patrick Kearon.

My Recent Stories

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Sunday general conference: Temples are the gateway to the greatest blessings God gives (Sunday conference wrap-up)

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Saturday at general conference: Latter-day Saints should be one in Jesus Christ (Saturday wrap-up)

Latter-day Saint membership passed 17.25 million in 2023, according to a new church statistical report (Saturday)

About the church

President Nelson announces 15 new temples as conference comes to a close.

What I’m reading

How faith shaped Caitlin Clark’s rise to fame.

Behind the Scenes

See all the galleries of photos our photographers took at all five sessions of general conference here.

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kisses the hand of his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, as he moves toward his seat prior to the afternoon session of the 194th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, April 7, 2024. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News