On Nov. 1, 2013, the First Presidency announced that a general women’s meeting would be held the Saturday before each general conference for all women, young women and girls 8 and older.
The news came as a surprise and a delight to LDS women worldwide, but the meeting is hardly the first of its kind. General meetings for the women of the Church have been held in different formats since 1947—for a decade from 1982 to 1992, an annual meeting for all women and girls 8 and up was part of general conference. Here’s a look back at women’s meetings through the years.
A Relief Society meeting was held in conjunction with October General Conference for the first time. These meetings were held annually in the fall for adult women until 1984.
Annual meetings for Primary children began.
A fireside for women in the Church age 12 and older was held in September of both years. Four speakers were in each meeting—Spencer W. Kimball, Ruth H. Funk, Elaine Cannon and Barbara B. Smith in 1978; Kimball, Cannon, Smith and Naomi M. Shumway in 1979. They spoke on the role of women in the Church and in the world. The meeting was broadcast to 1,400 congregations worldwide, and President Kimball’s address was translated and sent to congregations that didn’t receive the broadcast.
A meeting for all women 8 and older temporarily replaced the annual Relief Society meetings.
First General Young Women Meeting was held in conjunction with April General Conference.
General Relief Society Meetings were held annually in the fall; General Young Women Meetings were held annually in the spring.
First semi-annual General Women’s Meeting for all women 8 and older held in conjunction with General Conference in both the spring and fall.