Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

In the Early Days of Radio Someone Accidentally Piped a World Series Game to the Tabernacle During a Conference Talk

And the gospel must first be published among all nations (Mark 13:10).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always been engaged in spreading the message of the gospel. In the 1920s, radio was emerging as a technology that had the potential to reach millions. May 6, 1922 marked the first broadcast of the Church. On that date, Heber J. Grant, seventh president of the Church, took to the airwaves. Then, in 1923, one session of general conference was broadcast on the radio. The following year the entire conference was broadcast. The general conferences of today are still broadcast by radio, as well as TV, internet and more in many languages.

However, the initial implementation of these technologies was not without hiccups. An article from Ensign Magazine details one misstep:

During one early October general conference broadcast, conference-goers in the Tabernacle on Temple Square were startled to suddenly hear, through the public address system, a world series baseball game. Someone at the station had pulled the wrong switch! So for seven minutes the Tabernacle was flooded with the play-by-play action of a second-base steal while Presiding Bishop Sylvester Q. Cannon dashed across the street to the studio on top of the Union Pacific Building to reverse the switch and restore reverence at conference.

Growth has come from those early mistakes. In 2010 Music and the Spoken Word, the longest running nationwide radio broadcast in the United States, was inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame. Watch a recent episode of Music and the Spoken Word below:

Related Photo:

The photo above shows early Church leaders broadcasting from a shed on the top of a building.

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