Breaking: Priesthood Session of LDS General Conference May Be Available Online Starting Next Year

If you have been around blogs much, you know that sometimes it is in the comments that the most interesting revelations are made.

Take for instance this tidbit from the comments section of the LDS Media Talk blog, to my knowledge not revealed anywhere else, from Larry Richman, who is the Director of the Internet Coordination Group for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Since the priesthood session is a closed meeting, the Church does not provide the audio and video of the meeting to the general public on Next year, when we will provide the ability for you to log in and we can verify that you are a member, or a priesthood holder, we expect to be able to provide the priesthood session online.

The unavailability of the audio and video of the Priesthood Session of conference on the church’s website has been a topic for speculation for a long time among many members. I have no interest in questioning the Brethern as to why. To me it feels right even if I don’t fully comprehend why. I support them in their policy of limiting access to the session.

That said, this news is very exciting. The ability for Priesthood holders in the church to log in to the church website and watch or listen to the Priesthood Session on demand (presumably using the same streaming technology from Move Networks that is being used for the other sessions of conference), will be a great benefit for priesthood holders throughout the world who have access to the internet, but are far from locations to which the session is broadcast live.

Whether this new functionality will include both live-streaming and on demand archives, or merely one or the other, is not clear.

The ground work for the login functionality has already been laid with the LDS Account functionality that is currently being used to filter participation on Church-sponsored open source projects at the new LDSTech Wiki, which requires and LDS Account to contribute to the project.

The wiki explains:

Having an LDS Account is not the same as having a login to the Local Unit Web Sites. Please follow the LDS Account link to get your account. LDS Account is the new unified authentication being deployed to all applications at the Church.

To register for an LDS Account you have to know your membership record number and the date of your confirmation. Your account will then be tied to your membership record.

An LDS Account is already required to participate in a number of web-based, official LDS resources, and it will likely be through this mechanism that the Priesthood Session access will be granted.

Of course, the use of LDS Account is just speculation on my part. We will see as more information becomes available.

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