Monday, September 30, 2013

Preparing for General Conference: 5 Suggestions and an FHE Lesson Plan

In the comments section of my last blog post, Julie, left this sweet comment and request:

"Jami! Could you write a post on the importance of preparing for General Conf. We hear so often to watch it but how and why should we prepare. I love your creative ideas and how you approach topics spiritually."

Thank you for your kind words - this post is for you, Julie! I wanted to get this up sooner, but I got a pretty nasty head cold this weekend on account of too much End-of-Summer canning and not enough sleep. I hope my suggestions are still helpful to you! Here are some things you might consider doing to prepare for General Conference:

Review the Conference Talks from the Last Conference

Several mornings each week, I choose one or two conference talks to listen to as I do the dishes, or fold laundry. I ponder as I listen, and prayerfully talk with God about how I can best implement the promptings I receive from the Spirit. This tip is best applied consistently between the time of one conference to the next, but the talks from the previous conference can also be reviewed more intensely the week before to prepare for additional counsel. You can find the talks from the April 2013 General Conference at this link.

Review Old Questions and Write New Ones

Before every conference session begins, Squire and I get together and write down a list of questions we have as individuals and as a family. They are sometimes doctrinal, and sometimes very personal in nature. Whenever we write the questions down, I have always found that many or most of my questions are answered as I listen the first time through, and the rest are answered as I study and ponder the words from General Conference over the course of the next 6 months - at least partially!

Share Conference on Social Media and in Conversation

I LOVE conference so much, that I LOVE to share it with others! What better way to prepare, than to share, right? I often change my facebook cover photo in preparation - here are a couple if you want one - and I share the times and links to the conference in a public wall post. I then share my favorite conference talks, or quotes as I listen or in-between sessions. Twitter is a great medium for sharing powerful 140 character quotes. Pinterest or Instagram are great places to make and share cute little graphics with inspiring quotes from Conference on them.

Make Conference special with yummy food.

I always make it a point to do yummy hot breakfasts on conference days. This weekend, I'm planning on doing German pancakes, slathered with my home-canned nectarine jam on Saturday, and I'll try something new from this gal's fabulous food blog for Sunday breakfast. Dinner will be something in the crock pot to keep things simple. Conference is a weekend of spiritual feasting, and I think delicious home-cooked physical feasting is an appropriate parallel for the weekend. :)

The Church has a webpage about this very topic.

You can find the link to that page here. There are printables and activities for kids, links to talks and a whole lot more. That advice is all wonderful. I'll definitely be printing out the coloring pages for this weekend.

Pre-General Conference Family Home Evening Lesson Plan

Opening song: The Sixth Article of Faith

"We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church. Namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so forth."

Opening prayer.

I showed my children this picture:

Image Source.
 I explained that when Jesus was on the Earth, He called apostles to be special witnesses of Him after He was gone. I said that what we heard in the song was true - that Jesus has called special witnesses to testify of Him in our day, too!

And then I showed them this picture:

Image source.
I explained that these men are Jesus Christ's apostles today on the Earth with Jesus' first presidency, the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and his counselors:

Image source.
I then told Lincoln and Atley about how this weekend is very special to us, because we get to hear all of these apostles and the prophet, testify of Jesus, just like they do every conference.

We got out a mason jar and a bag of cotton balls, and we went through almost all of the short April 2013 conference highlights videos (can be found at this link.) I would tell Lincoln and Atley who was going to speak in the video, "This is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Elder Holland." "Elder Holland," Lincoln would repeat back. Every time we heard the prophet or apostles mention Jesus, or another name for Jesus ("Lord," "Savior," "Son of God," "Christ," etc.) we paused the video and Lincoln put a cotton ball in the jar. Lincoln loved running back and forth to put cotton balls in the jar and he listened very intently for Jesus' name. At the end of listening to the highlights, the jar was full:

Pre-General Conference Cotton Ball FHE Game
I then read to Lincoln the scripture 2nd Nephi 25:26 from The Book of Mormon which says:

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

I bore my testimony to Lincoln and Atley that there was nothing in this whole life that they could do that would make me more happy, then for me to see them follow Jesus Christ. I told them that I loved Jesus, that I know He is our Savior and that if we follow Him and repent, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. And, that as we study the scriptures and listen to what Jesus' apostles tell us at General Conference, we can also come closer to Jesus and to Heavenly Father.

I wanted to close with the song, "I Believe in Christ" or "I Know that My Redeemer Lives," but Lincoln really wanted to sing "Follow the Prophet." Perfect for General Conference, so we went with that.

We closed with a prayer. Then, we ate some gummy bears as a treat for filling our jar!

I put our conference magnet up on our weekly calendar to show Lincoln that we are going to listen this weekend.

I have a magnet with Jesus, and a coloring page magnet for Saturday - a reminder of what conference is about and that we will be playing our cotton ball game. I have the First Presidency and a cookie magnet for Sunday. :)
I told him that we will play the cotton ball game again, and if we fill up our big jar, we will have a special treat this weekend. Maybe these amazing cookies? This is a fun way to keep him listening, and to help him understand that Conference is really about coming to Christ.

P.S. Wasn't the General Relief Society broadcast absolutely fabulous? Loved it. Can't wait to hear the rest of the sessions. :)

What are you doing to prepare for General Conference?

4 comments:

  1. This was amazing and helpful and absolutely wonderful!! Thanks for the time and dedication you put into this post!!!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Julie. Happy Conference weekend! :)

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  2. Found you through a Pinterest search--GREAT suggestions for preparing my 5-year-old and 2-year-old (mostly the 5-year-old) for Conference tomorrow night. I like your weekly illustrated calendar, too! Thanks so much for the great post.

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    1. I'm so glad this post was helpful to you, Kristina! Thank you for taking the time to read and to comment! I hope you enjoy conference weekend with your littlies!

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