KSL-TV Looks Back At Experiences From 50 General Conference Special Reports
Oct 1, 2020, 3:08 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For years, KSL-TV has produced hours of special programming to air over General Conference weekend. One of our latest documentaries, “We Remember: Journeys of Faith,” takes you behind the scenes with the photographers and producers who have traveled the world together.
Since 1998, Carole Mikita has been the reporter of many of these conference specials. Now you will meet members of our team as we share memories – and it’s important to begin with the man who created the idea.
Our former colleague, Duane Cardall began following leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint around the world, starting with President Spencer W. Kimball, in 1976.
Duane was with the Tabernacle Choir in 1991, two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, as the group toured Eastern Europe.
“Those people had been oppressed politically, had not enjoyed the benefits of Western entertainment, if you will, and music – and to see the emotion in their faces,” he said.
The encore song, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” he said, always brought them to their feet.
“As soon as the notes were recognized, you could feel the electricity in each of the venues,” Cardall said. “You capture the essence of what happened, and it was most powerful.”
When Carole Mikita became KSL-TV’s religion reporter, her first interview with President Gordon B. Hinckley happened as she and photographer Steve Landeen traveled to Spain.
She said because of his experience in broadcasting, he understood what they needed for their story.
“That was one of the great things about President Hinckley. We knew that he knew our side of the business – and he knew what needed to happen,” said Landeen. “And he was always so accommodating.”
Editor/photographer Bob Brown accompanied Mikita to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2007. She said they found courage, sacrifice and faith in Slava and Irinna Kondraviev.
“They were intelligent and hard-working, so they had a house but they wanted to serve a mission but they wanted to serve in the temple which was in Stockholm, Sweden,” Brown said.
To do that, the couple had to sell everything they owned. They said it was worth it. They embraced the KSL crew, as well.
“It was just such a surprise to have them invite us into their life, especially to that level where we actually broke bread with them,” Brown said about a meal they shared with the Kondravievs.
The beautiful Riverside Church in New York City was the site of the first annual Mormon Arts Festival in 2017. The idea to capture these works, talk with the artists and composers came from Angie Denison, executive producer of the conference specials.
“I think artists have a unique vision in presenting the gospel in ways that can touch people that other things can’t,” Denison said.
Meet the KSL-TV team of reporters, photographers, producers and editors who accompanied Mikita on these journeys, as they reflect back and share deeply personal memories of times never to be forgotten.
“We Remember: Journeys of Faith” airs Sunday at noon, after the morning session of General Conference.