I went to school at Southern Virginia University and tried to take Teachings of the Living Prophets each semester (just about) for one of my institute classes. I loved that every semester it was a new class and how much I learned about the words of our living prophets by talking about it with amazing people and led by astoundingly good teachers! (Thanks Bishop Austin and Bro. Stuart!) I think I likely heard that you could find answers to personal questions in General Conference before attending SVU, but I don’t think it had ever truly settled in previously. After experimenting upon that word, I have come to depend on that amazing opportunity to receive personal revelation, while listening to our leaders. I am certain that is one of the big reasons I have come to love General Conference as much as I do. I have always liked Conference – ever since I was the rowdy little person playing bingo and pestering my siblings. Now it is so much more treasured though. It is an opportunity to allow the Spirit to teach me through the inspired words of another. I love to compare notes with my hubby after a session and realize that we each got totally different things out of it! It amazes me that the Spirit can truly teach each person what they need to know!
As with so many things in life, General Conference only gives as much as you are willing to give for it. In other words, if you fail to prepare for Conference, it will be harder to get out of it what is available if you are earnestly seeking answers to already contemplated questions. If you go into it with a prayerful heart seeking confirmation of something, direction in a coming decision, comfort in a difficult situation, or any other question or concern you have at that time, then you can be blessed with the windows of light and knowledge being opened to your mind, heart, and spirit!
I want my kids to understand this principle and experience it for themselves, so we are going to have the FHE before Conference be a time to prepare for General Conference. We always do a pre-Conference something each time, but usually it is more about what Conference is, who the General Authorities are, what it means to be a prophet, seer, and revelator, or other less personal topics. This time, we are going to get personal. We will still have a lesson about some of those other preparatory things, but we are moving it up a week to allow a more personally focused lesson right before Conference. The two activities I have included in this post are to try to help get the kids (and me too!) in gear and open to receiving all that Heavenly Father wants to bless us with during General Conference.
The first activity sheet is a more silly one, but I thought it might help the kids start really contemplating about Conference and help them listen up for some things as we actually listen to the various sessions. Part of the idea came from Lady Create-a-lot and the rest is to help bring the General Authorities in front of the kids eyes before Conference and to hopefully help them to be excited about all of the talks, not just President Monson’s. It has an area for everyone to make a guess about all the statistical information that will be covered in the Saturday Afternoon Session. I love the idea! It seems like it will help to kids to recognize and grasp the growth of the church better – plus it will help them have something to do during that part of Conference which is notorious around here for leading to tuned out kids that take 2 or 3 talks to get their brains re-engaged! I think it will be fun! The other half is the part about the General Authorities. It is a chance to guess who will speak when. Then the kids will have to listen well during conference to see if they guessed right or wrong for each one of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. For older kids, they could even guess what topics each person might cover! For my kids, I am going to print up some of the great stickers I saw on In Need of Comfort. I love that she made them so they can just be printed on those mailing label stickers! I’ve got a bunch and I am going to make each kid several sets for a variety of activities I have in mind. For this activity, I will give them a full set of 15, plus a few extra President Monson stickers, since he usually speaks more than once. We will of course offer rewards for those that did great guessing – or even for those that paid enough attention to know how well they guessed! I am debating between treats for good guessers/pay attention-ers after each talk, after each session, or as part of our review FHE the following night. Either way, there will be rewards as incentive for participation. Fun!
I made this page up and really liked how bright and fun it turned out, but then I worried that with the pink, it might not go over too well for a boy. I ended up deciding to make a second version that was a little more boyish, just in case!
Now for the activity I like even more! This page is designed to get us thinking about the questions we are seeking answers to as we watch General Conference. We will help the younger ones think of something that they are worried or wondering about and help the write or draw pictures. ONE and TWO will be encouraged to spend some time thinking about it during FHE and will be allowed to hang on to their papers through the week as they decide things they want to keep in mind as they listen that weekend. (THREE, FOUR, and FIVE will all have their papers collected and put into their Conference Notebooks to be ready and waiting for Saturday morning!) I will really encourage everyone to keep their questions in their hearts, heads, and prayers and I am hoping it will lead to an amazing and personally edifying experience for each one of them – and for me too! (Not that it matters, but this can match both the boyish and the girlish Guess What! activity sheets – it’s my wanna-be scrapbooker self coming out I suppose. 😉
Just to make sure you are aware, my policy is to create stuff that can be used by anyone for personal or church purposes. Please do not use, modify, or re-distribute these for any commercial purposes. Thank you! Enjoy! 🙂