“Clearing Our Calendar for Conference,” Ensign, Oct. 2012, 10
Years ago, when our six children were young, we decided we wanted to make general conference more meaningful to us. We talked about how important it is to watch conference with clear minds and rested bodies. Conference is an important time to receive instruction from our current prophets. So we set a goal not to plan anything extra for a few days before conference or during conference weekend. We blocked out those days on our calendar, and each of us committed not to schedule extra activities on those days.
If you choose to take a similar approach, it will be unique to your family and your situation, but our family defined “extra activities” as attending school activities, having neighborhood children come over, doing things with friends away from the house, having parties or dinners with friends or relatives, doing projects or yard work in between or during conference sessions, saving school projects until the last minute, and accepting extra assignments at work.
When the week before general conference arrived, it was sometimes hard to say no to these activities, but most of the time our family members cheerfully made the right choices to meet our goal. We found that our younger children wanted to be part of general conference. I think it was because we talked about the importance of conference over and over throughout the week before.
I am happy to report that keeping our schedule simple the days before and during general conference completely changed our family’s experience. Our hearts and minds were prepared for conference. Our time was not cluttered with extra activities, so we could feel the Spirit as we sat and listened to the words of counsel from our leaders.
We have stuck to our goal conference after conference because it fills our home with peace. Though several of our children no longer live at home, we encourage them to still clear their calendar the few days before and during conference, as we do at home. We also try to schedule a time to watch a session of conference together as an entire family. I am hoping that as our children marry and have children of their own, they will continue to place a high importance on protecting their conference experience by clearing their calendars.