Do you remember that time when speakers in General Conference were allowed to speak in their own languages? In September of 2014, the Church put out an announcement that “General Conference Speakers Now Can Use Native Language”! But it didn’t last long. A year later, a Church spokesperson told a news outlet that the First Presidency had “decided that all talks for this weekend’s sessions will be given in English.”
However, if you know where to look, you can still hear many leaders speaking in their own languages. Since long before 2014, some leaders have pre-recorded their talks in other languages, usually (but not always) in their native language. I remember Elder Richard G. Scott talking about prerecording his talks in Spanish when he visited my mission in the Dominican Republic in the 1990s.
As I relistened to the October 2021 General Conference, I checked for every leader who seemed like she or he might have a different native language. I found seven examples of leaders giving talks in their home tongues. (When you listen to the talk, if it’s interpreted, then you can still hear the English track faintly in the background; not so with the prerecorded talks.)
If you want to refresh your General Conference study and you speak another language, here are some opportunities.
- Élder Ulisses Soares, “A eterna compaixão do Salvador” (Portuguese). The talk is “The Savior’s Abiding Compassion” in English. Elder Soares also recorded his talk in Spanish.
- Élder Patricio M. Giuffra, “Una búsqueda con fe, que fue recompensada” (Spanish). The talk is “A Faithful Search Rewarded” in English.
- Élder Ciro Schmeil: “Fé para agir e tornar-se melhor” (Portuguese). The talk is “Faith to Act and Become” in English.
- Elder Erich W. Kopischke: “Der Umgang mit dem Thema psychische Gesundheit” (German). The talk is “Addressing Mental Health” in English.
- Elder Moisés Villanueva: “Favorecido del Señor todos mis días” (Spanish). The talk is “Favored of the Lord in All My Days” in English.
- Élder Arnulfo Valenzuela: “Profundizar nuestra conversión a Jesucristo” (Spanish). The talk is “Deepening Our Conversion to Jesus Christ” in English.
- Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Tägliche Wiederherstellung” (German). The talk is “Daily Restoration” in English.
I checked, but it seems that other leaders who likely speak other languages—like Elder Carlos G. Revillo Jr. of the Philippines, Elder Vaiangina Sikahema of Tonga, or Elder Elder Alfred Kyungu—did not prerecord their talks. And if this seems like a lot of men, go back to the April conference and you can hear Sister Reyna I. Aburto give her talk in Spanish.