Conference Comes First
October 2008

“Conference Comes First,” Ensign, Oct. 2008, 72–73

Conference Comes First

Bonnie Vernon, Utah

If you are able to watch conference from home, you may be tempted to sleep in, nap, or become distracted as the speakers deliver their talks. As a couple, we try to remember that conference weekend is a time for active worship—through prayers, music, and testimonies.

As a family we have asked ourselves, “Do we come to conference with too casual an attitude to receive the deeper blessings that may be available to us?” We might look at it this way. In the United States and Canada, Thanksgiving is approaching, and we look forward to the feast. The same can be true for conference. We should be eager to partake, ready to feast on the spoken words of Church leaders, and prepared to receive promptings of the Spirit.

I have heard some say, “Oh, they just teach the same basic doctrines each time.” And I would say, “Would you skip your Thanksgiving feast this year—just because you are served the same traditional foods?” The same teachings, shared in a variety of ways, nourish us every time if we but partake.

Here are some suggestions to make conference more meaningful.

Do housework, yardwork, and meal preparations ahead of time. Keep things around the home simple so you can focus on conference.

Make a list of your concerns. Identify any areas where you feel weak. Listen to the talks for answers and notice any impressions you receive.

Tune in the whole time. You might miss something if you tune in late or tune out too early. Maybe the prayers will touch you. Maybe a choir number or congregational hymn will bear witness of truths you seek.

Take notes. Jot down key words or impressions, but don’t become so busy writing everything down that you miss something really important.

Of course, some people have to work on weekends or cannot arrange their schedules to view or listen to the conference broadcast. Fortunately, we have Church magazines, audiovisual recordings, rebroadcasts on BYU television, and resources at LDS.org to help us. But they are not intended to be substitutes for participating in live conference broadcasts when we have the opportunity to do so.

May we all prepare for and appreciate the blessing it is to hear from representatives of the Savior, speaking His will to us.