UPDATE: If you’ve landed here looking for stuff related to the upcoming General Conference, click here for more current resources.
I wanted to share the summary of a workshop I’ve taught a few times about preparation for General Conferences and how to get more out of it. Also, at the end, I’ve posted several links of General Conference packets for children of all ages and a few extra resources as well. I submitted this over at MMB as well, but I’m not sure it will make it up this week, so I wanted to pass it along to my readers. I think most of you know how I feel about General Conference. Love. It is my semi-annual recharging of the spiritual batteries. I really encourage all of you to consider joining us this next round of General Conference Book Club, too. It helps so much to keep the words of the prophets fresh on the mind and in the heart. Maybe those of you who have participated in the past can leave a little testimonial in the comments about your experience in studying a talk a week.
Preparing Yourself for General Conference:
Jeffrey R. Holland, “Prophets in the Land Again,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 104-7
“In my own expression of testimony and gratitude for the messages and meaning of general conference, may I suggest three things these twice-yearly gatherings declare to all the world:
1. First, they declare eagerly and unequivocally that there is again a living prophet on the earth speaking in the name of the Lord. And how we need such guidance! … We all need that word. No one is safe without it…
2. Secondly, each of these conferences marks a call to action not only in our own lives but also on behalf of others around us, those who are of our own family and faith and those who are not.
3. Lastly, a general conference of the Church is a declaration to all the world that Jesus is the Christ, that He and His Father, the God and Father of us all, appeared to the boy prophet Joseph Smith in fulfillment of that ancient promise that the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth would again restore His Church on earth and [return] again.”
Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 24
“There seems to be no end to the Savior’s desire to lead us to safety. And there is constancy in the way He shows us the path. … Those means always include sending the message by the mouths of His prophets whenever people have qualified to have the prophets of God among them. Those authorized servants are always charged with warning the people, telling them the way to safety….
In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated.
One of the ways we may know that the warning is from the Lord is that the law of witnesses, authorized witnesses, has been invoked. When the words of prophets seem repetitive, that should rivet our attention…”
Boyd K. Packer, “The Twelve Apostles,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 6
“We are overcome with what the Lord said of those who hold these sacred callings: ‘Whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.’ (D&C 68:4) … These men are true servants of the Lord; give heed to their counsel.”
Think about and write down questions that you would really like some insight about. (Think about your role as a wife, mother, friend, sister, employee, calling, etc. . . . What would you ask the Lord about?) Imagine the Savior as your “Counselor”and ask Him things with a desire to hear His advice. Pray about those questions. Request that He answers them as you listen to General Conference.
As you watch conference, pay careful attention and identify talk(s) that may give you some direction for your questions.
As you listen to (and later study) these talks, look for two things: (I recommend writing them down.)
1) main points: truths, principles, doctrine
2) action items: what does this speaker want me to DO? What is the “call to action”?
You can watch a highlight video from the latest general conference here at this link.
How to make General Conference meaningful:
1. Pray and prepare before General Conference.
2. Carefully study the Conference edition of the Ensign.
3. Watch or listen to General Conference with purpose.
4. Identify action items based on their counsel.
President Monson stated at the conclusion of a recent General Conference:
“My beloved brothers and sisters, my heart is full and my feelings tender as we conclude this great general conference. We have been richly blessed as we have listened to the counsel and testimonies of those who have spoken to us. I believe we are all more determined to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. I remind you that the messages will be printed in next month’s Ensign… I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life.”
Resources to help your children prepare for and be active listeners during General Conference
The Church has provided this page with some print-outs and computer games to help children prepare for General Conference.
The following are all excellent references offered from Sugardoodle.net, including General Conference Activity Packets for all ages (When you click on them, you can download the documents and print them out.):
Senior Primary Packet and Sticker Pages (print on sticker/label paper from Office Supply Store)
Junior Primary Packet
Primary Packet (compact 2-page)
Check out this Sugardoodle.net page for other General Conference ideas, coloring pages, snacks, activities, etc.
Here’s another site with a lot of packets, cards, and other resources.
This is an article that I helped author: “Preparing Our Children for General Conference” It has some specific ideas of activities/games you can do with children (even small children) before, during, and after conference.
Here are also some great articles to help you get yourself and your children in the General Conference mindset:
Neil L. Andersen, “Teaching Our Children to Love the Prophets,”
Jeffrey R. Holland, “Prophets in the Land Again,”
Henry B. Eyring, “Safety in Counsel,”
Here’s to having your best General Conference experience ever.