Overhauling My Approach to General Conference

General Conference is two weeks away, and I've got so much on my mind. Between finishing my book on patriarchal blessings, preparing it for publication, my calling in Young Women, and my responsibilities as a temple worker, I don't know that I've been this busy in a long time. I'm enjoying the feeling of pushing myself to limits I didn't think were possible. I'm already thinking about how I can carry that energy into General Conference, and make the most of it.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My usual approach has been to formulate some questions ahead of time, to listen for answers throughout the sessions, and take notes generally throughout. Generally, I do a lot of writing. Some of it includes impressions, but most of it tends to be writing or rephrasing what the speakers are saying. I've noticed this has become more of a habit over time, especially since I've been live-tweeting more over the past several years. As I reflect honestly with myself, I'm not happy with my results. And I'm very aware that my approach is the problem.

I'm deciding I need to find a more personal method of studying General Conference. Something that:

  • translates into more engaged study, prayer, and church attendance after conference ends
  • uses a format that works equally well for the Women's Meeting, as well as other broadcasts, stake meetings, and sacrament meeting
  • forces me to spend less time writing, and more time listening
  • incorporates, but is not controlled by, live-tweeting
  • allows me to prepare questions and receive answers like I always have, without leaving behind other important messages
  • brings me closer to my Savior, not just my own goals

Even though I recognize this is what I need, I don't know exactly what this will look like. So I've decided to begin experimenting with different ideas with messages from last General Conference. I'll be better prepared to learn from this next meeting, because the words from the last meeting will be fresh in my mind.

I've got some ideas in mind of places to start, I'm excited to try them out. I'll also pray about it and see what ideas come to me in Sacrament Meeting.

I know Heavenly Father wants to educate and communicate with each of his children. General Conference perfectly represents those desires. General Conference has blessed me immensely throughout my life, and I'm looking forward to having another chance to be blessed in similar ways. Above all else, I know General Conference is the chance to hear the voice of Jesus Christ, as he has promised the Saints in his church: "For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father." (D&C 84: 36-37)

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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