General Conference Book Club: An Open Invitation



This may be old news to some of my regular readers, but come conference time, it’s probably no surprise that there’s a lot of search-engine contact and link-sharing that leads to temporarily increased traffic here on Diapers and Divinity.  For that reason, I want to take the opportunity to invite you, long-time reader or new, to participate in our General Conference Book Club.

This Sunday, after conference, we’ll begin Week 1 of a new round.  Here’s how it works:

The goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”

(If you’re not familiar with General Conference or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, go here and here and here for more information.)

A new talk will be posted each Sunday.

You don’t have to do anything to “join” the club– You can just visit the Sunday post at any time during the week and share thoughts, findings, favorite quotes, applications, even questions from the talk of the week. Personally, I think it would be a good idea to subscribe to comments from the post so that we can read each other’s insights and have a “real book club” conversation.  (One way to do this is to click the little box under the comment form that says “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.”)   Or of course, you can just check back often to see Continue reading

Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Mary

It has been a really busy week on this blog. I think I’ve blogged more than I had in the previous month, total. Since posts are going up so quickly, I don’t want you to miss anything, so head back to the homepage and scroll a bit so you can catch all of the General Conference festivities, including last night’s announcement about trivia and photo contests. Okay, back to the business at hand.

I really didn’t know very much at all about Mary until I read her answers to my “interview” questions.  By the time I finished, I decided I wish I lived next door to Mary.  I love people who can give great advice and make me think more deeply.  I’m excited for you to get to know her, too.  Meet Mary:

Hello! Iʼm Mary Jarman, and I live in Sandy, Utah. Stephanie recently posted about living in
Utah, and her honesty made my day. I replied that I was a transplant to Utah, and said in my life there are several things I said I would never do. Living in Utah made that list, as did and never driving a Suburban. God has a sense of humor, and Iʼve learned to never say never because I do live in Utah (which has grown to feel like home) and even though I still donʼt drive a Suburban, our 5 children (3 teen-sized) more than fill up our Durango, so itʼs probably time for an upgrade. It certainly would make carpooling and road trips a lot easier!

I grew up on a farm in Juniper, Idaho, and moved away when I was 18 years old for
college. I attended BYU Idaho (back when it was Ricks College) and earned an Associateʼs
Degree. After a stint at Boise State University, I left on a mission to the Marshall Islands
(Micronesia Guam Mission, which has also changed names and boundaries…are there hints of my age in all of these change?). I attended BYU (Provo) after my mission. I donʼt want to hurt any feelings, but BYU was my last choice. It took God knocking me over the head to get me there, and in my ultimate act of rebellion, I actually wore my husbandʼs University of Utah sweatshirt to classes on the last day. Ten years later, after my youngest children were in school, I redeemed myself by graduating from the University of Utah with a masterʼs degree in Continue reading

General Conference Contests

In addition to all the warm fuzzies and innumerable blessings that you’ll receive for watching General Conference, here are a couple other incentives.  Lesa from Notes About Music and I are hosting a general conference trivia contest.


We will post the questions on Monday morning and see who was really paying attention.  You’ll type up your answers and email them to me at  All the high-scorers will be placed in a drawing to win one of these two prizes (So, two winners).:

This 8×10 temple print by Brighter Side Art

and a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD

(I don’t know if it will actually be this very CD, but definitely a MoTab CD.  This prize will be donated by the generous Lesa.)

Also, one more contest:


General Conference Meme

This is a fun idea to let us all share our personal highlights from General Conference.  A meme is a questionnaire of sorts that is a little bit “viral”– it gets passed around among several people online.  I teamed up with Lesa from Notes about Music to create eleven questions that might help you pay more attention and learn more from both the music and the spoken words at conference.

UPDATE:  The meme is now up and running, go here to participate.

Okay, so… Instructions.  Look for answers during conference (obviously, there are no “right” answers– this is all about your personal experience and thoughts.).  When conference is over, post all your questions and answers on your own blog, at your leisure.  Anytime after Sunday afternoon/evening, either go to Lesa’s blogor come right here at Diapers and Divinity (there will be a new post up just for this purpose), and you will find some fancy-linky-collector-thing where you can share the link to your blog post.  Then we can all read what you had to say and just have a big post-conference testimony-and-goals fest.  I really hope that made sense.  Without further ado, here is the meme:

General Conference Highlights, October 2011

1.  Who were your three favorite speakers?

2.  Which talk spoke to you the most?

3.  What was your favorite Hymn and why did it move you? Continue reading

Preparing Yourself for General Conference

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Here’s the thing about General Conference that’s key:  The talks can answer your prayers and give you specific, personal direction for whatever you’re dealing with in your life.  When you open your mind and heart to the possibility of finding those answers, they are there.  Totally there.  This is where my deep love of General Conference comes from– some of my most specific, immediate answers to prayers and heart-musings have come through living prophets speaking straight to me right through my TV screen.  Those answers have come in the form of reassurances, gentle chastenings, practical ideas, reminders, and simple expressions of love.  The Holy Ghost helps me feel what the message is for me.

Here are a few disjointed thoughts and suggestions that might help you get more out of your conference experience.

  1. Pray.  A lot.  Just ramp it up a little this week.  Any time you find yourself worrying or wondering or stressing about anything in your life– no matter how small– make it a matter of prayer.  Even a quick turn-your-thoughts-upward prayer will do.  Lay that concern out for Heavenly Father and ask Him to help you find some kind of answer or direction as you listen to conference.
  2. Write those questions down.  This can help you keep them in your prayers and thoughts.  It can be a list or a collection of scrap paper.  One year I wrote individual questions on post-it notes and stuck them in my scriptures.  You might even want to keep those written questions right on your lap as you listen to the conference talks.  Keep looking at them and keep listening for related content.  Continue reading

Preparing children for General Conference (+ packet links)

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It’s no surprise to anyone who has visited this blog before that I love General Conference.  I know many of you do, too.  To any readers who might not be familiar with General Conference or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, go here or here to learn more about both.  Today I wanted to share a few ideas of how we can help our children appreciate and look forward to General Conference.

  1. Start now to express your excitement for conference.  Today, on two different occasions in the car, I said, “Only 5 more days until General Conference.  I’m so excited!”  Use the opportunity to bear brief testimony of living prophets and how their messages have made a difference in your life.
  2. As you say family and meal prayers, remind your children to pray for the prophet and apostles as they prepare for their conference talks.  We can ask Heavenly Father to help them be inspired as they speak and to help us be inspired as we listen. Continue reading

GCBC Week 26: “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare” by Bishop H. David Burton

LAST week of General Conference Book Club.  Last.  Can you believe it?  This means two things:

  1. We did it.
  2. Only 6 more days until we get to hear the word of the Lord again from prophets and apostles.

This coming week will be a General Conference Extravaganza here on Diapers and Divinity as we get ready for another session to begin.  Starting tomorrow, watch for preparation ideas, a meme that you can participate in on your own blog, some highlights, packets for children, etc.  So, you know, stay tuned.

Do you want me to keep doing General Conference book club here on the blog?  There’s always a huge turnout for week one, and then it kind of dwindles off little by little.  I don’t mind continuing it for even a few people if they find it meaningful and helpful.

So whether you’re a regular or thinking of joining in, I’d like to know what you’re thinking. 

Okay, for this week, our last talk is “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare” by Bishop H. David Burton.

“The purpose, promises, and principles that reinforce our work of caring for the poor and needy extend far beyond the bounds of mortality. This sacred work is not only to benefit and bless those who suffer or are in need. As sons and daughters of God, we cannot inherit the full measure of eternal life without being fully invested in caring for each other while we are here on earth. It is in the benevolent practice of sacrifice and giving of ourselves to others that we learn the celestial principles of sacrifice and consecration.”

I feel like this message makes a lovely companion to Sister Allred’s talk from the Relief Society Broadcast last night.

What does this talk make you think or feel?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you’re visiting for the first time and you want to know more about what we do here for General Conference Book Club, click here.