In April 2018, a sacred meeting will be held for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during General Conference. This meeting is called a “solemn assembly.”
A solemn assembly takes place during one of the sessions of General Conference and occurs when a new Church president and prophet begins his service. It is a chance for each member of the church to sustain the new prophet.
During a solemn assembly, a member of the First Presidency will read off the names of the prophet, his counselors, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Vacancies in the Twelve are usually announced at this time.
Then, each quorum or group of the church has a chance to stand and raise their arm to the square, giving their sustaining vote for the new prophet. Everyone, down to children who are 8-years-old and older, has their own opportunity, wherever they are in the world, to show their support.
The Doctrine and Covenants teaches us that “all things shall be done by common consent in the church” and to “call your solemn assemblies.” There is also reference in the Bible to gather together and speak with one voice.
You can watch the past two solemn assemblies below, where President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson were sustained as prophet and president of the church.