If you're looking to tune in to LDS General Conference on TV this weekend, you'll have the option of watching it live in Spanish.
And if you want to follow the scriptural references quoted by church leaders, you'll be able to do that, too online, in Spanish, with the church's new Internet edition of the Spanish Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.
KBYU-TV, Ch. 11, will broadcast the four general sessions of the conference at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today and Sunday with Spanish translation, according to Jim Bell, manager of marketing and communications for BYU Broadcasting.
He said a church audio-visual employee was thinking about a Spanish broadcast last spring, about the same time KBYU personnel were considering it. They put their heads together and decided, with permission, it was time to provide the service for Utah's growing Hispanic community.
"We could see nothing but positive coming from it. The church was happy to give us the rights and we did it. It was not a directive from the church."
The first live Spanish broadcast took place during the April conference, and the response was "all in all, very favorable," Bell said, noting there was confusion by some who had expected to see the broadcast in English, which is also carried live in Utah on KSL-TV, Ch. 5, as well as on BYU-TV for cable and satellite subscribers.
Though feedback was good, he said KBYU doesn't track viewership, so officials don't know how many tuned in for the Spanish broadcast. Local leaders of Hispanic wards and branches have been notified, and Bell said officials are hoping the news has also traveled word-of-mouth through the community because it hasn't been heavily publicized.
Neither has the new Internet edition of the Spanish scriptures, which contains the searchable text, complete with footnotes, study helps, maps and photographs. Users can also mark selected passages for future reference. See the main Web page at www.lds.org for links to the text and its features.
The LDS Church will also host the annual Latino cultural celebration "Tesoros de las Americas," in the Conference Center on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. The event "commemorates the visit of Jesus Christ to the Americas and the 120th anniversary of the publication of the Book of Mormon in Spanish," according to the posting on www.lds.org.
Song, dance and messages in Spanish from LDS general authorities have made up the event in past years, though no further details about the upcoming celebration have been released.Also unknown is whether the church will make the celebration available for broadcast either locally or abroad.