Tomorrow begins the 2013 Spring General Conference. What are your traditions? Tips for getting the most out of conference? Any hopes/expectations for this conference?
Here are mine:
- We always have a nice breakfast as a family both mornings of conference. We are on Eastern Time so conference doesn't start until noon, giving us ample time to lounge around and enjoy our time together.
- When my kids were little we did conference games (there are tons out there online – just google it!) One that has stuck with us is that every member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve has an assigned treat. You will also find lists of these floating around online – most are either things that have to do with their name (cookies for Elder Cook, for example), one of their favorite foods, or something that starts with the first letter of their last name (we always have M & M's for President Monson). We used to follow the online lists but now I kind of just make my own up based on what I feel like eating that weekend. We are trying to be healthier this time – lots of veggies, fruits, nuts. But of course we've got the potato chips and ice cream in there too. It keeps the kids entertained, and when the program is announced they love setting out the treats in the order they will eat them.
- In recent years, my kids have really liked taking notes. They set up a little “desk” area with pens and paper and it seems to keep them focused. Not sure how long that will last.
Getting the most out of conference
- Try to get a good night's sleep the night before. Be rested and open to inspiration.
- Have a family prayer and/or personal prayer just before conference starts.
- Take notes.
- Some great advice I was given and plan to do this time is to write down a question or two that is on my mind. Perhaps a topic we are struggling with or something like that. Write your question or topic on the top of a sheet of paper. Throughout conference, if you hear anything that pertains to that, jot it down. Make a note of talks you would like to revisit regarding this topic. Conference will be meaningful if you personalize it. (That doesn't mean you tune out during talks that have nothing to do with your question…but I was promised if I did this my questions would be answered. I'm going to try it.)
- Make a game of it. I know our own Alison likes to try to guess what the title of the talk will be when it comes out in the Ensign. Just a little something to keep you focused and really listening.
- I thing I *try* to do (not always the best at it) is to not do other things around the house while I'm listening…although I know this keeps some people from falling asleep). So, I try to have my Saturday “work” done beforehand and prepare an easy Sunday dinner so I'm not worrying about that while I listen.
- Before last conference, there was a lot of buzz that something “big” was going to happen. Many wagered a guess that The Family: A Proclamation to the World would be canonized. Instead, we had a HUGE announcement about age of service for missionaries. Who knows if there will be a “big announcement” or not – but it's always fun guessing!
- Any temples you are expecting/wanting announced? Now, I never would have guessed Star Valley, but there is always a surprise in there. I'm rooting for Cedar City, Utah this time.
- Any themes you're expecting to run through conference? There is a lot of talk out there right now about women's issues (http://ordainwomen.org/ is a recent project, and of course we are expecting to have a woman give a prayer in General Conference for the first time). I think we will hear a little more about women than usual, and also about the priesthood – how they work together. Do I think women will be ordained? No. But I think the dialogue will definitely be increasing. We also have a lot going on with gay marriage. More than anything, however, I think we are going to be seeing more and more focus on the Savior as we move forward as a church, and less about our procedures and history. As it should be (in my opinion).
I hope you all have a most enjoyable and fulfilling conference!