With General Conference just around the corner, and coming of the heels of one of the more consequential General Conferences in recent memory, the (formerly) Mormon internet is ablaze with predictions for what President Russell M. Nelson has in store for us this time.

Some of the big changes being floated include:

  • Move to a two-hour block on Sundays
  • Temple marriages and civil marriages no longer to be performed congruently in the United States
  • No more “open mic” testimony meetings on fast Sundays
  • Mission calls that are essentially blank, with the call itself being read during conference
  • Renaming the actual Book of Mormon

Those are just a few, but for the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on the first one. Anecdotally, it would seem that a two-hour block is the most expected surprise, if it happens at all. Social media is filled with discussions on how this would be implemented, what it would mean for auxiliaries, and if we’d use it as an opportunity to pack more congregations into plainly designed meetinghouses in an effort to redirect building funds toward temple construction.

Now we can add another wrinkle, as popular Twitter account LDS Stake Clerk has quoted a “very reliable” source in proclaiming how the two-hour block would work, and it’s a schedule unlike any you might have seen thus far:

So we have it right there. “2 hour church will happen,” says the Clerk, but not using the model we’ve seen elsewhere that would have Sunday school and Relief Society/Elders Quorum/Youth alternate. Instead, sacrament meeting would be a brief uniting of everyone to sing, pray, take care of business, have the sacrament, sing some more, pray, and move on with the block. It’s a fascinating idea, if a confusing one.

As is said in many of your wards, the sacrament is “the most important part” of any Sunday meeting, but if this schedule is true, the Church is saying that Sunday School and auxiliary learning is more important than hearing some good sacrament meeting talks. I’m on the fence with that one, not to assume we can’t adapt as a people and be more effective with a particular venue. We all know that Elders Quorum is one of the worst hours of the week, full of phoned in efforts, even if new curricula is trying to right the ship. But that said, for every solid sacrament meeting talk, you get a “I forgot I was doing this until this morning” talk, or some meandering remarks from a poor high councilor who is tasked with filling 30 minutes.

The dear clerk also asserted that stake callings outside of the stake presidency and high council are going away:

If true, this would keep with the trend that started with nixing the high priests group last conference and creating a much smaller high priests quorum. That downsizing could spread across the stake, returning responsibility to the wards. This is some 10th Amendment-level stuff right here.

Lastly, apparently mutual will no longer be weekly.

The Clerk did not provide details on how frequently mutual would be held in this scenario.

So there you have it. It’s all rumor and hearsay, naturally, but LDS Stake Clerk has put forth some interesting ideas from what he (we assume the account is run by a male) describes as reliable sources.

To put this in perspective, we’ve received some reliable and credible tips in the past, only to have no resolution. Four years ago, numerous unrelated individuals serving in temples told us an announcement would be forthcoming about temples in the United States no longer performing civil marriages, requiring American Latter-day Saints to do as most of the world does: get legally married at a courthouse or similar venue, and then proceed to the temple within a certain period of time. Naturally, this did not transpire, but it’s once again being discussed for this upcoming conference. (For the record, we don’t think a policy change that is not rooted in uplifting doctrine and only applies to a minority membership of the Church would be announced over the pulpit in General Conference. This is the sort of thing that would come via the Newsroom or a letter to be read in sacrament meeting.)

But hey, we’ve clearly been wrong before. Who knows what will happen this weekend!