You know, there's no right or wrong way to prepare yourself and your family for General Conference. Each family has just got to do what works for them, and it's been a trial and error process for us for sure, but I really like what General Conference has become in our house.
One of my favorite General Conference traditions is to make a list of questions that we'd like to find answers to in the upcoming conference. We have been doing it for a while now and without fail, we always find that our questions get answered!
We first started doing this when I saw it suggested on a post called "Preparing Yourself for General Conference" by Stephanie at D&D. (Thanks, Stephanie!)
Now is the time, if you haven't already, to start thinking about your questions. Post them where you can easily refer back to them, and prepare away for General Conference.
My friend Wendy had a gathering of friends where they met to brainstorm about how to help their families get the most out of General Conference. She generously shares their ideas below...See if any of them work for you and report back! Have a great idea or tradition that you'd like to share? Let me know in a comment!
- During conference make and/or can applesauce. Listen to the session as you do it. Involve little hands by letting them peel apples, eat apples, and/or wash/clean up. Eat what you made the next day during the other sessions.
- Listen when President Thomas S. Monson speaks. It is the one (or 3 talks) that a child can sit through. Usually those talks are on Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon. He speaks in priesthood, but little boys under the age of 12 hang out with Mom and crew. Here is a news release from the church about internet streaming for Priesthood meeting.
- Learn who the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 are before conference. Learn their name, hobby, where they were born, how many children they have, and what their profession was. Children will learn to recognize these men as people and the Holy Ghost can testify that they are prophets and apostles. Pictures can be ordered through LDS Distribution under Art subset General Authorities. A biographical resource is located here at lds.org under Prophets and Apostles.
- Have a parent/teen/child draw pictures of the talks they listened to and then have an art wall to remind your family what was learned during the different talks. Here is how we've done it.
- Meal preparation is for the meals on Saturday and Sunday. When planning the meals, consider how "heavy" the meal will be and if it will interfere with listening to the next session of conference by causing sleep. Eating heavy and sitting for 2 days can be physically hard to want to learn.
- Change and replenish the 72 hour kits. If you keep 72 hour kits, a natural rotation is every 6 months at conference. The snacks in the kits can be eaten as treats and clothes changes, food, and other changes can happen.
- Dress up and go to the Stake Center for 1 or all session of conference. Since it is church it is nice to have available.
- Create conference packets for children and adults. There are hundreds of ideas about what to use and when to use it. A conference notebook that is used only for conference for an adult. Coloring pages for children found at oodles of sites. Here are the activities from The Friend.
- Create a personal space for your children. They are to stay in that area for the session except for bathroom breaks. The space could be a individual box that is a boat, space ship, car, castle, etc. They can color the space, have treats in the space. It can also be done with a special blanket.
- A busy box with special activities can be a quiet activity. It can be felt people to dress up, magnets for a cooking pan, an eye spy bag, or paper stories. It is a special stuff only used for conference and not Sunday meeting times.
- Change the toys so there are new toys or a toy rotation.
- Hold a Priesthood Potluck so men can gather and carpool to the stake center and moms and children can see a different set of walls than the ones they've stared at all day. Have everyone meet back for a priesthood debriefing with a dessert. An idea if you every move far away is amorning potluck brunch. It is a gathering of people to uplift and enrich.
- Take a walk or run between sessions. The blood gets moving this way. Fresh air is a change from sitting.
- Print off pictures and attach their picture to a bag o' candy of the 1st Presidency and Quorum of 12. When the speaker, shows up a child will need to recognize the person and grab the bag. Pick a few words or phrases to listen for. Once the phrase is said, the candy is won! You don't have to use candy it can be celery.....with peanut butter or squirt out cheese. ;)
- Review the impressions and a create goals as a couple/family/individual. If the goals are reviewed 2x a year instead of just New Year resolutions in January, the goal will have great chance of getting done.
- We also talked that it is a good time to make a treat and share it with Home/Visiting Teaching families as a reminder of when and where conference can be found!