Church leaders and students give advice for a more meaningful conference

Written by: 
Haeley van der Werf

Every six months, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for General Conference to hear the words of modern-day prophets. Church leaders shared some ways to better prepare for General Conference via, and students shared traditions they have to help make conference a fun and meaningful weekend.

An article on the LDS youth website entitled “6 Ways to Get the Most Out of General Conference” shared, “if you listen carefully and prayerfully, the Spirit will help you identify messages just for you.” The article suggests six things viewers can do before and during conference to have a more personalized experience.

Before conference, viewers are asked to review the promised blessings. The article recommends viewers “read the talks from the last conference, and note the things we are counseled to do and the blessings we are promised when we do them.” The article suggests viewers get to know the speakers before they give their talks by reading their biographies on The article also echoes the words of President Uchtdorf, saying “as you prepare for General Conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered.”

During conference, the article suggests, “seek to have the Spirit with you. Try your best to have a positive, grateful attitude.”

Elder Robert D. Hales suggested people take notes during conference. He said, “When I take notes at conference, I do not always write down exactly what the speaker is saying; I note the personalized direction the Spirit is giving me.”

The last suggestion the article gives is to set goals for personal study after conference is over. It says “In the end, General Conference means nothing if we don’t act on the things we learned and the answers we received. In the six months until the next conference, study the messages again, review your notes, and set goals for things you want to work on.”

Students also shared the special traditions they have to help them make conference more meaningful. These traditions included blanket forts, food, and goody bags for each speaker.

Emily McFadden, a freshman from Colorado majoring in communications, shared how her mom always made conference special in their family. “My mom really likes to go all out with General Conference. She makes bags for each speaker which are filled with candy and other goodies to help my little siblings pay attention. We also have bowls of candy, and each bowl has a gospel topic attached to it. Every time we hear a speaker mention one of the topics we get to grab a piece of candy.”

General Conference begins at 6 am Hawaiian time, and Alyssa Larney, a sophomore from Montana majoring in hospitality and tourism management, shared a special tradition she has with her roommates to help with the early hour. “Conference is so early here, so my roommates and I like to push our beds together and watch it. It makes it really fun to watch conference together.”

Food and forts make conference a good experience according to Andrea Doucette, a freshman from Utah majoring in exercise science. “I love to make cinnamon rolls every conference. One of my favorite traditions in my family is making a General Conference fort and watching the speakers from inside all of the pillows and blankets.”



Date Published: 
Friday, October 5, 2018
Last Edited: 
Friday, October 5, 2018