Most people who know me know how I feel about General Conference. Love. It is my semi-annual recharging of the spiritual batteries. General Conference weekend makes me happy. I have found that I get so much more out of conference when I intentionally prepare for it. Here are a few quotes and ideas to help you get in the General Conference mindset.
"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.” - Jeffrey R. Holland, "Prophets in the Land Again," Ensign, Nov 2006, 104-7
"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...” - Henry B. Eyring, "Finding Safety in Counsel," Ensign, May 1997, 24
“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.” - Boyd K. Packer, "The Twelve Apostles," Ensign, Nov 1996, 6
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.)
- main points: truths, principles, doctrine
- action items: what does this speaker want me to DO? What is the "call to action"?
In summary, 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.”
Also, consider this post as an invitation to participate in the General Conference Book Club that I host on my personal blog or to start one of your own. Studying one talk a week helps so much to keep the words of the prophets fresh on the mind and in the heart.
Happy preparations. Here's wishing you the most meaningful General Conference ever.
Stephanie is a mom of three young and relentless children. Her interests include Latin music, naps, restaurants, writing, travel, teaching, housework denial and long showers. Stephanie seeks for the divinity in motherhood--- tries to share it when she finds it, and tries to laugh when she doesn't. She blogs for fun, posterity, and therapy. Her musings are chronicled at Diapers and Divinity.