“Ministering through General Conference,” Ensign, April 2020
As mission-preparation class teachers, Susie and Tom Mullen regularly encourage the members of their classes to invite someone to watch general conference.
“Inviting someone to do something is an integral part of missionary work, and it applies to ministering as well,” she says. “Our students regularly report back about how well it turned out for them and also for the person they invited.”
Here are a few of the ways their students reported reaching out:
“We minister to a friend who has some issues he is struggling with. We invited him to listen to general conference for answers. When we visited with him after conference, he told us that he heard so many ideas that would help.”
“We threw a general conference party and everyone brought treats to share. It was so much fun that we decided to do it again.”
“I invited a friend to watch general conference with me. As we talked about it, we decided to drive to the meetinghouse to see if we could watch it there. We did, and it was the best experience to be there!”
As the Mullens and their students have learned, there are many ways to minister through general conference. It’s a wonderful way to share uplifting quotes, family traditions, meaningful discussions, and the teachings of the Lord’s servants!
“The Savior commanded His followers to ‘love one another; as I have loved you’ (John 13:34). So we look at how He loved us. … If we make Him our role model, we should always be trying to reach out to include everyone.” —President Dallin H. Oaks1
Years ago our wonderful home teacher Mike noticed that my three children and I only had a small laptop to watch general conference on. He immediately invited us to come over to his house to watch with him and his wife, Jackie, insisting they would love the company. My kids were thrilled to watch conference on a real TV; I greatly appreciated having the support; and we all loved our time together.
After that, watching general conference together was a tradition. Even when we got a TV of our own, we still happily headed over to Mike and Jackie’s with our pillows, notebooks, and snacks for general conference. Hearing the words of the prophets together made it more special. We became like family. Mike and Jackie became some of my best friends and second grandparents to my kids. Their love and friendship have been an incredible blessing to my family. I’m so grateful for their willingness to open their home and their hearts to us.
Suzanne Erd, California, USA
After we notice the needs of those we minister to, the next step is to act.
“Hearing the words of the prophets”
We should “meet together oft” (Moroni 6:5) to learn together, grow together, and speak about the spiritual things that matter most to our souls.
“Come, listen to a prophet’s voice, and hear the word of God”2 may be one of the most important invitations we can extend to those we minister to.
“Love and friendship”
To truly help and influence others, we must build relationships with compassion and “love unfeigned” (see Doctrine and Covenants 121:41).
“Social media channels are global tools that can personally and positively impact large numbers of individuals and families. And I believe the time has come for us as disciples of Christ to use these inspired tools appropriately and more effectively to testify of God the Eternal Father, His plan of happiness for His children, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world.” —Elder David A. Bednar3
The internet allows us to share the gospel with the entire world. I love that! I share a few activities for general conference, but mostly I try to help others create a discussion from general conference addresses. Seeing questions from others can often help us see things in a new light and can be a springboard to our own great discussion questions.
I’ve found that as you use questions to discuss general conference talks with your ministering families, it helps you see their strengths as well as their needs. One of my favorite questions to ask is, What do you feel was a theme from the most recent session of general conference?
The answer almost always lets you see what is going on in their life and what’s important to them. It allows you to become a better ministering brother or sister because you get to see them more clearly.
Camille Gillham, Colorado, USA
“Share the gospel”
We have covenanted to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).
“Create a discussion”
General conference messages can inspire amazing, relevant, and spiritually led conversations. And these kinds of discussions can strengthen your relationships, help your testimony grow, and bring you joy! (see Doctrine and Covenants 50:22).
“Good questions will help you understand interests, concerns, or questions that others have. They can enhance your teaching, invite the Spirit, and help people learn.”4