New Era’s General Conference Notebook Is a Personal “Iron Rod” Created Just for Youth

Contributed By Isabel Toa, Church News staff writer

  • 4 October 2019

A young boy takes notes in the General Conference Notebook, a supplemental resource sent to New Era and Liahona subscribers that’s intended to help youth participate in and record personal revelation during general conference. 

Article Highlights

  • The General Conference Notebook was designed specifically to engage and inspire personal revelation for youth.
  • The General Conference Notebook is now available for youth worldwide as a New Era and Liahona supplement.

“It’s not a random sheet of paper that you pulled out from the home printer. It’s not a random school notebook with a few pages from conference in it. . . . This is the place where you recorded your revelations for this general conference that were just for you.” —Ryan Jensen, New Era managing editor

As the October 2019 general conference nears, Church members around the world are gearing up to hear new temple announcements, sustain General Authorities, and receive personal revelation from modern-day prophets and apostles. Every conference weekend holds the promise for members to find answers to questions they have pondered and prepared beforehand.

With a specific goal to encourage more youth participation during conference, the New Era magazine has provided the youth of the Church with a valuable supplement since April 2018—the General Conference Notebook—as a guide to prepare for and learn from General Conference. This October, the General Conference Notebook will also be available in the Liahona so youth around the world can access the notebook’s spiritual prompts, note-taking pages, conference lineup activities, and more.

Most important, the notebook is more than just a notebook. The notebook was created so youth could capture and record the individual inspiration they receive in whatever way they choose.

Ryan Jensen, managing editor of the New Era, said it was important that the notebook include a variety of different styles of pages.

“We didn’t just do lines. In the past, we’ve seen some great drawings and handmade memes of the things that stood out to these youth, and that’s great! Whatever is going to stand out to you, as an individual, you write that down, however you need to.”

Youth can use these three methods within the notebook to make sure they are getting the most out of conference: prepare in advance, listen during conference, and study afterwards.

How Do You Prepare?

The preparation section of the notebook includes a chart of the General Authorities, a Q&A portion where youth can write down the questions they are seeking answers to, and a general conference lineup activity to predict the speakers, music, and even tie colors that will be used during conference. These preparation materials allow youth to connect with speakers and draw closer to their Heavenly Father through fervent prayer, Jensen said.

Mariah Mortensen, a 17-year-old from Parker, Colorado, said that she enjoys the elements included within this section because it keeps her thoughts organized. She said the General Conference Notebook is easier to store and review later in comparison to generic lined notebooks.

“This new journal is a great way to save money and space. It also has a simple, easy-to-follow format that works for different age groups, and I think it will really help people actively listen to conference,” she said.

The General Conference Notebook will help youth learn to receive revelation this October 2019 general conference.

How Do You Listen?

A young woman records revelation and insights in the General Conference Notebook.

The middle and largest section of the notebook was created with personal revelation in mind. Youth can use over five pages of notes to write promptings, jot down inspirational quotes, and find messages that stand out.

Previous issues of the notebook included five specific ways to learn from conference, but the updated version was simplified to include a larger note-taking section and more room for reflection and planning.

The stylized pages help youth establish a personal perspective and discover themes that they can look back on and share with others. Jensen said he hopes youth will use these pages to capture important, personal insights.

“The conference talks and messages will be published later, and you can go back and read those, but what is the Spirit saying to you right now? What do you need to know and feel right now to be on the right track and to hold strong to the iron rod?” Jensen said.

How Do You Study?

The conclusion of the notebook is where youth can reflect on the messages that stood out and create an action plan for the promptings they received. Maybe you were finally given an answer to what school you should attend. Maybe you felt overwhelming peace after suffering through recent hardships. Maybe practical steps were given on how you can be a better friend. Whatever the case may be, the last section of the notebook is the place to write it all down.

“The gospel is all about us becoming more like our Heavenly Father, and that requires us to change. It requires us to do things. So what are those things you will do because of what you learned during general conference?” Jensen said.

Elder David A. Bednar said that in order to “obtain every needful thing” (Doctrine and Covenants 109:15), “we should not expect the Church . . . to teach or tell us everything we need to know and do to become devoted disciples. . . . Rather, our personal responsibility is to learn what we should learn, to live as we know we should live, and to become who the Master would have us become” (“Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 102).

Coupled with the Come, Follow Me curriculum and other home-centered gospel learning materials, the General Conference Notebook encourages reflection and gospel learning participation in the home. Jensen referred to it as a special place where youth from all over the world can record their personal revelations and build their personal testimonies within the walls of their own bedrooms.

“It’s not a random sheet of paper that you pulled out from the home printer. It’s not a random school notebook with a few pages from conference in it. It’s a specific, designated place for youth,” he said. “This is the place where you recorded your revelations for this general conference that were just for you.”

Because of its pilot launch, the 2019 October issues of the New Era and Liahona magazine will come with only one copy of the notebook (one notebook per subscription). At this time, no additional copies can be purchased through the magazine or the Distribution Center. However, you can print additional PDFs here.

What do you think of the new General Conference Notebook? Submit your feedback by emailing your comments to or sending a direct message on Instagram to @ChurchofJesusChrist_youth.

Youth can write down individual inspiration they received during conference on diverse note-taking pages.

Youth can write down individual inspiration they received during conference on diverse note-taking pages.

At the end of the notebook, youth can record a plan for how to act on the promptings they received during conference.