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General Conference is just around the corner, yet again! Oftentimes, this beloved weekend tends to sneak up on us, and we find ourselves in awe that another 6 months has come and gone. It is around this time that we start to see various great resources for How To Excite Your Children for General Conference, or General Conference Activities Your Little Ones will Love. They are filled with fabulous ideas to help our young ones stay reverent and alert during each session.
However, let us not forget that as adults in our households, we are the spiritual anchors for our young ones. Not only do we need this spiritual nourishment to carry us through the next 6 months, we need to be ready and prepared to receive it. How we set the tone for conference in our homes will help them understand the importance of, and treasure that is, General Conference Weekend. I’m so excited to discuss 5 ways YOU can engage with the words of our beloved leaders, so you can. And if I have learned anything in this process, it is that the secret to truly engaging in conference, is in the preparation of our hearts and homes for the Spirit to fill them.
This topic has become a dear passion of mine since I took a leap of faith and launched Work + Wonder. This will be my third conference designing and selling prompted workbooks to help listeners do exactly what I just mentioned above! And with each new conference, I have the pleasure of working with a new featured artist, and inviting their work to bring the pages to life. I’ll be sharing more details throughout the article, and if you stay tuned to the end, we have some good news for you! So let’s get started, shall we?
Prepare Your Heart
In order to receive personal revelation, “we must properly tune our receiver to heaven’s frequency (1).” We do so by spending time in the scriptures, time on our knees, and time within the walls of His holy temples. These activities invite the Spirit into our hearts, and allow the whisperings of heaven to be heard among the noise. Along with Elder Uchtdorf, I invite you to, “ponder questions you need to have answered. … There are messages in each general conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations (2).” In your prayers, offer these questions to the Lord sometime before conference weekend. Then write them down somewhere you can consistently refer back to. There is a section in our workbook for this purpose! This is a wonderful way to help us stay engaged during the messages of conferences, encouraging us to listen for, and seek answers to, these questions on our hearts and minds!
Prepare Your Home
As we look forward to conference, how can we help our homes to become “sanctuaries of faith (3)”? I first think of cleanliness. The Spirit is most likely to dwell in a tidy home. And do you know what else is most likely to happen? Your mind won’t drift, and you won’t be as tempted to tend to household to-dos during conference, if you’ve taken care of them beforehand. Same goes with food preparation; oftentimes, families love to gather round for conference weekend, it’s one of my favorite parts. Perhaps it would be helpful to plan the meals and snacks in advance so no one needs to excuse themselves during the session to do so. Sure, at times this is needed, but where possible, plan ahead so you can spend time engaged in the messages and with your loved ones.
Prepare You Mind
If I were to ask why most people have a hard time focusing during general conference, I would venture to guess most would say they can’t help but feel sleepy. I’ve been there too. So my friends, let’s think ahead to the night before, and maybe pause the 2-hour (…and counting) Settlers game before the wee hours of the morn, and continue in between sessions. We won’t be able to help falling asleep, if we don’t first help ourselves in getting some rest. I also want to mention attire. Isn’t it fabulous that we have ability to watch conference from the comforts of our homes? However, perhaps we can be more honest with ourselves in recognizing when comfortable, gets too comfortable–when casualness starts to rub off on the way we approach our engagement with conference. This is something that can be decided as a family, so that as a whole you can come with your best intentions to actively listen and participate!
Come to Conference With Fresh Eyes
What would it be like to experience general conference for the first time? Hearing these message of hope, happiness, and healing, unlike you’ve ever heard before. You CAN, through the eyes of a non-member or less active person. Elder S. Gifford Nielsen said it beautifully, “We have the opportunity every six months to listen to the inspired words of counsel and encouragement of modern-day prophets and apostles. What a gift! Let’s invite our family, friends and others to join us in watching conference. As we do so we will be giving them the opportunity to feel God’s love and receive inspiration to help them in their own lives and families (4).” So I want to invite you to be thinking of who you might extend the invitation to. If anything, they may come for the good food and even better company, but they will leave having felt the warm and welcoming spirit in your home.
And finally, how we listen can make all the difference. Are we prepared to actively listen to the messages, then apply them to our lives? Throughout the Work + Wonder workbook, I’ve given prompts to help you listen for specific things. Such as questions, promises, and challenges posed to us by our leaders. Then a space to record impressions for promptings you receive. Sometimes, they are unrelated to the words being spoken, this is God speaking to you, don’t risk forgetting this divine revelation, write it down! And towards the bottom of the page, I’ve left a space in case a specific person comes to mind during a certain message. Again, this is an invitation from God to perhaps be an answer to someone’s prayer. Take action, answer the calling, and share that message with them.
Friends, let us see General Conference as the kick-off event to the season ahead! It is a fresh start, an awakening, and a new beginning to renew our discipleship and motivation to come unto Christ. “The words spoken at general conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months (5).” I sincerely hope this article can be helpful to you and your families in preparing for, and engaging with, the inspired messages of this weekend that will soon be upon us. Be ready this time! Commit yourself to this beloved opportunity. And if you haven’t already, grab your April Work + Wonder workbook here, as the perfect tool to do so!
Lastly, I didn’t forget the good news! Head on over to our Instagram @work.and.wonder or @ldsmag to enter a giveaway for one of our April 2019 workbooks!! We will be giving away THREE, so be sure to share with your friends, family, and loved ones. Then join us for #confprepweek, March 31st – April 5th, over on Instagram to prepare our hearts and homes together! We can’t wait to spend conference with you!!
- Larry Y. Wilson, Take the Holy Spirit as Your Guide
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference – No Ordinary Blessing
- Russell M. Nelson, President Nelson Urges ‘Teach the Children’
- S. Gifford Nielsen, Find New Ways to Invite Others to General Conference
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference – No Ordinary Blessing